Maharashtra Legislative Council polls: Election to 10 seats slated for June 20 inevitable as BJP fields 5 nominees, Congress 2

June 9 is the last date for nomination

Sanjay JogUpdated: Wednesday, June 08, 2022, 08:04 PM IST
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Maharashtra Legislative Council | PTI Photo
  • BJP denies nomination to Pankaja Munde, who is daughter of former union minister Gopinath Munde

  • Shiv Sena nominates new faces Sachin Ahir & Aamsha Padvi, drops old guards Subhas Desai & Diwakar Raote

  • Congress fields Chandrakant Handore & Bhai Jagtap, all is not well in the party as former minister Naseem Khan questions nomination to Handore

  • NCP yet to declare its nominees due to differences over names of candidates though Ramraje Nimbalkar & Eknath Khadse are frontrunners

  • June 9 is the last date for nomination

Mumbai: Election for the 10 seats of Maharashtra Legislative Council slated for June 20 seems inevitable as BJP has fielded five nominees, Congress and Shiv Sena two each and NCP will also nominate two candidates. BJP denied candidature to Pankaja Munde, former minister and OBC leader. The party with 106 legislators supported by 7 independents and smaller parties have announced nominations to Pravin Darekar, Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bharatiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad. Darekar and Lad today filed their nominations.

On the other hand, Shiv Sena has dropped old guards including industry minister Subhash Desai and former minister Diwakar Raote and nominated former minister Sachin Ahir, who had left NCP and joined Shiv Sena in 2019, and Aamsha Padvi. The duo filed their nominations today in the presence of Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeay.

As far as Congress is concerned, the party has fielded former mayor and minister Chandrakant Handore and Mumbai unit chief Bhag Jagtap with an eye on the BMC elections. However, their nominations go against Congress party’s decision at its Nav Sankalp Shivir held in Udaipur of not giving candidature to leaders above 65 years of age. Incidentally, Handore and Jagtap are 65 plus. Former minister Naseem Khan, who lost assembly poll to Shiv Sena candidate Dilip Lande, was furious over denial of nomination and questioned party’s decision to give candidature to Handore. Khan put up a show of strength by mobilizing his supporters and met Maharashtra Congress in charge HK Patil to express his serious displeasure.

In the case of NCP, the state council chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar and former minister Eknath Khadse are the frontrunners. However, the party has yet to formally announce the list as the names of three other leaders including Shivajirao Garje, Sanjay Daund, whose term ends in July, and former legislator Amarsinh Pandit are still doing the rounds. The last date for filing nominations is June 9.

With the quota of 27 seats, BJP can win four seats comfortably but it will have to struggle for the victory of fifth candidate. They will have to mobilize additional 19 votes for the victory.

Fadnavis has his stamp over the nomination of BJP candidates. State unit chief Chandrakant Patil claimed that the Maharashtra unit made sincere efforts for Munde’s nomination but ultimately the decision was made by the leadership in Delhi.

Interestingly, Desai, who has been a close confidant of Shiv Sena supremo late Bal Thackeray and enjoys good rapport with CM Uddhav Thackeray, opted himself out paving the way for fielding new faces. With 55 legislators, Sena will win two seats.

The Congress with 44 legislators can win one seat comfortably but will have to mobilize votes for the second seat.

However, NCP is confident of winning two seats with its strength of 53 legislators and support from independents in the state assembly.

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