Railway Minister and BJP’s observer for the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections in Maharashtra, Ashwini Vaishnaw, on Sunday held a meeting with state BJP leaders.
After attending the meeting held at the BJP’s office in south Mumbai, senior party leader Ashish Shelar said that strategy for the elections was finalised.
Meanwhile, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, has called a meeting of its MLAs in Mumbai on June 7.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, who attended the meeting virtually as he is in home isolation after testing positive for coronavirus, said all the MLAs should vote as per their conscience.
Shiv Sena leader and state minister Uday Samant told reporters that all the four candidates of MVA will sail through comfortably.
“There is no need to worry. I don’t know from where the BJP is getting the confidence to field three candidates, “he said.
The electoral contest for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat from Maharashtra lies between BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar.
For the total six seats up for grabs, BJP has fielded three candidates, Congress and NCP one each, and Shiv Sena two.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), comprising Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, has called a meeting of its MLAs in Mumbai on June 7.
Congress leader and minister Satej Patil told reporters that it will be clear on June 10 how many MLAs are with the MVA.
Sources said all the MLAs of Shiv Sena (55), NCP (52), and Congress (44) will be together in Mumbai till the elections are held.
The 288-member Maharashtra Assembly forms the electoral college for the RS polls. While two NCP MLAs- Anil Deshmukh and minister Nawab Malik- are currently in jail, one seat is lying vacant.
Apart from the four main parties, the Assembly has 25 MLAs from smaller parties and Independents.
The effective election quota per candidate is 42.
The BJP, which has 106 members in the House, has nominated Union minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.
The NCP has renominated former Union minister Praful Patel while the Congress has fielded Imran Pratapgarhi. Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar are nominees of Shiv Sena.
Meanwhile, Shelar said Mahadik will sail through easily by defeating Sena’s Sanjay Pawar.
“The BJP has additional votes to get its third candidate elected. It is laughable that those who keep their MLAs under vigil are speaking about democracy. This is an insult to the MLAs,” Shelar said in a swipe at the MVA government.