Mumbai: The stage is set for unopposed election for the seven Rajya Sabha seats in Maharashtra. On the last day of filing nominations on Friday, there were seven nominees in the fray.
Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar, another party nominee Fauzia Khan, Congress candidate and party leader Rahul Gandhi's close confidante Rajeev Satav, Shiv Sena nominee Priyanka Chaturvedi and BJP nominees including Union Minister Ramdas Athavale, 13th descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Udayanraje Bhosale and former Mayor of Aurangabad civic body Dr. Bhagwat Karad have filed their nominations so far.
On the final day of filing nominations, only seven candidates remained in the fray, whose scrutiny will take place on March 16 and the last date for withdrawal is March 18. This almost paves the way for all the nominees getting elected without a contest.
The retiring members are NCP's Sharad Pawar and Majeed Memon, Congress' Hussain Dalwai, Sena's Rajkumar Dhoot, BJP's Amar Sable and BJP supported independent Sanjay Kakade.
In the 288 member state assembly, 37 votes per candidate were needed for victory. Hence, based on the strength of 54 and 44, Shiv Sena and Congress respectively will send each a nominee each to the Rajya Sabha.
In case of NCP despite 54 members, the party will send two nominees including Pawar and Khan as it has arrived at an understanding with allies Congress and Shiv Sena to share their extra votes.
As far as BJP is concerned, the party can send three nominees with its 105 legislators supported by few independents.
The MVA's total strength is 170, including Sena's 56, NCP's 54 and Congress' 44, while the BJP has 105 plus the support of around nine other legislators.
While Pawar is renominated by NCP, the party has fielded a Muslim woman and a former minister Fauzia Khan for the second seat.
As reported by FPJ, BJP, Congress and Shiv Sena did not field veteran leaders instead has given new faces.