Maharashtra MLC Polls 2022: Stakes high for MVA as BJP eyes re-run of RS poll triumph

Today’s Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) election is set to witness another contest between the BJP and Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) after the recent face-off in the Rajya Sabha elections.

A total of 11 candidates are contesting for 10 Maharashtra Legislative Council seats, with the MVA allies – Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress – fielding two candidates each, while the BJP nominating five.

While nine candidates are assured of a victory given their current strength in the state assembly, a direct fight will be witnessed between Congress’s Mumbai President Bhai Jagtap and BJP’s Prasad Lad for the 10th seat.

The BJP has 106 MLAs in the 288-member Maharashtra House, Shiv Sena-55, Congress-44, and NCP-52. Smaller parties and Independents account for 25 MLAs and will thus, decide the fate of the bigger parties. The quota for first preference votes per candidate to win the MLC polls is 26.

The BJP, which is expecting a re-run of the Rajya Sabha feat, exuded confidence in bagging all five seats in the MLC polls.

Claiming instability in the ruling MVA, BJP’s Pravin Darekar said, “We are confident of our victory. MVA leaders have not performed well in these two and a half years. There is miscommunication in the alliance. Whereas our leadership is very strong and capable. We will win all the 5 seats.”

BJP candidate Prasad Lad also said he was 100% certain of his victory. Meanwhile, Congress, though low on numbers, has also expressed confidence in winning both seats in the MLC elections. 

Hitting out at his saffron opponents, Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole said, “All six candidates of MVA will win with a full majority. BJP is greedy. It is misusing agencies to target MLAs. BJP will lose due to their overconfidence and greed.”

Given its strength in the Assembly, the BJP can get four of the five candidates elected, the Sena and the NCP two each, and the Congress one. Both the BJP and Congress are banking on support from independent candidates to bag the 10th seat. 

Maharashtra MLC polls

Elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Council were necessitated due to the retirement of 9 members – NCP’s Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar and Sanjay Daund; BJP’s Pravin Darekar, Sujitsinh Thakur, and Prasad Lad; Shiv Sena’s Subhash Desai Diwakar Raote, Vinayak Mete, and Sadabhau Khot; and the demise of BJP MLA RN Singh.

While BJP has renominated Darekar and Lad, NCP has reposed faith in Nimbalkar who is the outgoing Legislative Council chairman. The new candidates include BJP’s Ram Shinde, Uma Khapre, and Shrikant Bharatiya; Shiv Sena’s Sachin Ahir and Amshya Padvi; NCP’s Eknath Khadse; Congress’ Bhai Jagtap and former minister Chandrakant Handore.

In the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls for six seats from Maharashtra, the BJP led by Devendra Fadnavis clinched all three seats despite having fewer numbers than required. In a setback to the MVA, BJP’s third candidate Dhananjay Mahadik defeated Sena’s second nominee Sanjay Pawar.

(With inputs from agency)

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