Rajya Sabha elections: Jailed NCP leaders Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik move court seeking one-day bail to vote; hearing tomorrow

Maharashtra is set to witness a contest for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat between BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar.

Malik is currently lodged at a private hospital in Kurla undergoing treatment while Deshmukh is in Arthur Road Jail. 

Days ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled to be held on June 10, former Maharashtra ministers Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik have moved a special court in Mumbai seeking bail for one day to cast their vote in the polls. There are six seats up for grabs from Maharashtra. 

On Monday, Malik and Deshmukh, filed separate applications before the special court designated to hear cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act seeking one-day bail. Special judge R N Rokade yesterday directed the Enforcement Directorate to file its reply on the pleas by Tuesday and fixed Wednesday, June 8, as the date for further hearing.

Both leaders were jailed following their arrest by the ED in separate cases. While Malik was arrested in February this year in connection with alleged money-laundering linked to a property in Kurla, Deshmukh was nabbed in November last year in a case of alleged corruption. Malik is currently lodged at a private hospital in Kurla undergoing treatment while Deshmukh is in Arthur Road Jail. 

Both leaders have submitted in their separate pleas that being Members of the Legislative Assembly, they are members of the electoral college and desire to vote. Both leaders have sought to be released for a day to vote in the election, which is to take place at the Vidhan Sabha on June 10.

The development comes ahead of the June 10 polls where a contest is likely for the sixth seat for the Rajya Sabha. Apart from the Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress and BJP, 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 for the Upper House.

Sharad Pawar’s NCP has re-nominated former Union minister Praful Patel, while the Congress has fielded Imran Pratapgarhi. Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar are nominees of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena. The electoral contest for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat lies between BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik and Sena’s Sanjay Pawar.

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