Eleven candidates are in fray for ten seats in the biennial Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections to be held on June 20, setting up for a close fight between the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance’s Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the tenth seat. While the term of nine sitting members of the legislative council is coming to an end on July 7, the election for the tenth seat was necessitated as it fell vacant after the death of BJP MLC RN Singh in January, 2022. According to the Election Commission, votes will be cast between 9 am to 4 pm, while the counting of votes will begin at 5 pm. The date before which the election has to be completed is March 22, the EC further stated.
Maharashtra Vidhan Parishad Chunav 2022: Seats going to polls
While the tenth seat fell vacant following the death of BJP leader RN Singh, the election to the nine other seats were necessitated as terms of nine MLCs are set to expire in July this year.
The nine outgoing members of the Upper House are its current Chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar and Sanjay Daund, both from NCP, Leader of Opposition Pravin Darekar, Sujitsinh Thakur, Prasad Lad, both belonging to BJP, BJP allies Maratha leader Vinayak Mete and former minister Sadabhau Khot, and the rest from Shiv Sena, including Industries minister Subhash Desai and Diwakar Raote.
Maharashtra Vidhan Parishad Chunav 2022: Where numbers stand
10 seats are up for grabs with 11 candidates fighting for them, thus forcing an election for the tenth seat. The strength of the electoral college has dropped to 285 from 288 as three legislators won’t cast their votes on Monday. While Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke died earlier this year, the Bombay High Court on Saturday rejected the pleas of two jailed NCP legislators Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik to grant temporary release from prison for voting.
The BJP has named Pravin Darekar, Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bhartiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad as its candidates while the MVA has nominated Sachin Ahit and Amasha Padvi (both Shiv Sena), Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar and Eknath Khadse (both Nationalist Congress Party), Chandrakant Handore and Bhai Jagtap (all Congress).
In order to get elected, each candidate with require the support of at least 26 MLAs. With 106 legislators, BJP is expected to win four out of five seats. On the other hand, Shiv Sena (55 MLAs) and NCP (51 MLAs) are slated to win two seats each. Congress, with 44 MLAs, will require at least eight first preference votes, mostly from Independents and other smaller parties, for its second member Bhai Jagtap to get elected. NCP will require only one extra vote to get its second member elected. With the Sena having three surplus votes, the rest of the MVA, mainly NCP, can breathe easy.
The Upper House in Maharashtra consists of 78 seats, with BJP having 25 members at presents, and the MVA, collectively boasting of 33 members (14 from Shiv Sena, 10 from NCP, 9 from Congress). 12 members from the state’s Upper House are nominated by the Governor, while the rest 66 are elected.
Close contest in one seat – Smaller parties hold key
For the tenth seat, the 66-year-old President of Mumbai Congress Jagtap will be up against the 51-year-old Lad, former MLC and a close aide of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Smaller parties including Samajwadi Party, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen and Bahujan Vikas Aghadi are still holding their cards close to their chests.
Collectively, the Independents and smaller parties will have 29 votes. Together, they can change the course of election, as was witnessed in the recently held Rajya Sabha elections in the state.