In a major twist, the Congress, on Saturday, decided to contest two seats for the Maharashtra legislative council poll slated for May 21. The election is for nine seats and it is quite crucial for the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to get himself elected before May 27.
Few hours after the Congress announced from Delhi the nomination of Rajesh Rathod for the council election, the state leaders, headed by the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, decided to field Papa Modi, who is the Beed District Congress Committee chief, as the second nominee. The last date for filing nomination is May 11. The quota of 29 each is required for the election of nine seats.
Shiv Sena, with 56 legislators, is set to nominate Thackeray and legislative council deputy chairperson Neelam Gorhe. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 105 legislators has already announced four candidates. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), with 54 legislators, will contest two seats and has nominated Shashikant Shinde and Amol Mitkari. Congress, with 44 legislators, hopes to shore up the required numbers.
It will be known only on the last day of withdrawal on May 14 whether the nine will get unopposed or voting is needed on May 21.