MLC polls: Congress party’s rigid stand fades chances of unopposed state council election

The quota for the state council election is 25.91 votes

Sanjay JogUpdated: Monday, June 13, 2022, 09:13 PM IST
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MLC polls: Congress party’s rigid stand fades chances of unopposed state council election | File Image
  • Congress party’s rigid stand faded chances of unopposed state council election

  • There are 11 candidates in fray for 10 seats for June 20 poll after two nominees withdrew their nominations today

  • Despite falling short of adequate numbers, Congress hopes to shore up additional votes

  • BJP is confident to win 5 seats by luring independents and smaller parties while Shiv Sena and NCP are confident to comfortably win two seats each

Mumbai: After the high stake Rajya Sabha polls, MVA and BJP are yet again pitted against each other for election of 10 seats of state council slated for June 20 as there are 11 nominees in fray. The adamant stand taken by the Congress not to withdraw its second candidate made the chances of unopposed state council elections bleak. Congress insisted that it was in a position to shore up the additional 10 votes needed for its second candidate Bhai Jagtap against BJP’s nominee Prasad Lad who will need 16 more votes based on their respective strength of legislators and support by independents and smaller parties.

Earlier, former Minister Sadabhau Khot and NCP general secretary Shivajirao Garje withdrew their nominations on Monday which was the last date for withdrawal. BJP has fielded 5 nominees as it is confident to lure independents and legislators of smaller parties by exploiting lack of coordination among MVA partners while Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have fielded 2 each in the election slated for June 20.

BJP’s nominees include Pravin Darekar, Shrikant Bharaitya, Ram Shinde, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad. Shiv Sena has nominated Sachin Ahir and Aamasha Padvi while NCP has fielded Ramraje Nimbalkar and Eknath Khadse. BJP is solely relying on its master strategist Devendra Fadnavis for the victory of 5 nominees. Fadnavis had offered for an unopposed state council election provided MVA fields 5 nominees. However, MVA did not respond due to the Congress party’s rigid stand.

The Congress party faces an acid test to mobilise additional votes while three partners have a major challenge to avoid cross-voting from their respective legislators as there will be a secret ballot. The quota for the state council election is 25.91 votes.

Based on it, Shiv Sena with 55 legislators in the state assembly is confident of winning two seats while NCP with 51 legislators supported by independents does not see any problem for the victory of its two nominees. However, Congress with 44 legislators after giving 28 votes to its first nominee Chandrakant Handore will have to mobilise additional votes to complete the quota of 25.91 votes for the victory of second nominee Bhai Jagtap.

After the humiliating defeat of Shiv Sena’s second nominee Sanjay Pawar in Rajya Sabha election, MVA partners today met and firmed up a poll strategy to ensure victory of six nominees. A senior MVA Minister told the Free Press Journal, ‘’Congress has declined to withdraw the second nominee despite lack of sufficient votes but claimed that it will mobilize the additional votes. It was decided at the meeting that three parties will allocate the number of votes to their respective candidates while Congress nominee Bhai Jagtap has assured that he will take care of mobilising additional votes for his victory.’’

However, another MVA minister admitted that the ruling alliance will have to make up the trust deficit among its own legislators, independents and legislators of smaller parties for smooth sailing of its six nominees and thereby avoid another embarrassment.

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