Shiv Sena is firm on fielding a second candidate for the Rajya Sabha election slated for June 10. Shiv Sena President and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has decided to nominate ShivSainik for the second seat as the party is banking on its own excess votes and also transfer of excess votes by ruling partners NCP and Congress along with the independents and smaller parties supporting the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. At the same time, Thackeray has offered Chhatrapati Sambhaji to tie Shiv Bandhan (join the party) for considering his nomination as the Shiv Sena nominee.
Chhatrapati Sambhaji, who met Thackeray, has already announced to contest Rajya Sabha elections as an independent and he has yet to communicate his decision on the offer made by Thackeray.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut confirmed the offer made to Sambhajiraje. ‘’The Shiv Sena President and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take a final decision. Many issues were discussed including Rajya Sabha elections at the CM’s meeting with Sambhajiraje,’’ he said.
‘’Various organizations representing the Maratha community have made their submissions while Sambhajiraje (whose term will end in July) has expressed his views. CM as well as Shiv Sena are confident that the party nominee will win the sixth seat of the Rajya Sabha. It is true that the party has requested Sambhajiraje to join the Shiv Sena if want to contest the Rajya Sabha election,’’ said Raut. He reiterated that the CM will take a final decision in this regard.
"Shiv Sena wants to increase its tally in the Rajya Sabha by one seat. Therefore, the party is determined to nominate its own nominee and win the seat,’’ said Raut.
As per the present party wise strength in the 288-member state assembly, one candidate each of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress and two nominees of BJP will be elected with a quota of 41.01 votes. For the sixth seat Shiv Sena is confident to win as BJP is too short of mobilizing votes based on its strength of 106 and support of 7 legislators from smaller parties and independents.
BJP has hinted that it may field a third nominee if the central leadership gives green signal. BJP proposes to lure independents and smaller parties apart from disgruntled legislators from the MVA.
However, state DCM Ajit Pawar has clarified that there are less chances of cross voting and therefore MVA will win the sixth seat.