Direct contest between BJP, Congress for 10th Maharashtra Legislative Council seat

A total of 11 candidates are in fray to fill up 10 vacancies on the polls
Last Updated : 18 June 2022, 09:14 IST

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Days before the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections - it is becoming clear that it is heading for a direct contest between Congressman Bhai Jagtap and Prasad Lad of the BJP for the 10th seat.

A total of 11 candidates are in fray to fill up 10 vacancies on the polls, which are scheduled on Monday.

Jagtap (66), who is the president of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee is a two-term MLC and a trade unionist who leads the Bharatiya Kamgar Karmachari Mahasangh.

Lad (51), who started his political career with NCP and served as chairman Mumbai Board of Repairing and Reconstruction (MBRRB) under Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), had joined BJP in 2016, is a one-term MLC.

Both Jagtap and Lad are from Mumbai and enjoy good personal relations

Lad, considered close to former two-time chief minister and now leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis, had handled the Karnataka rebel MLAs during their stay in Mumbai in 2019, when the JD(S)-Congress government led by H D Kumaraswamy was toppled and BJP’s B S Yediyurappa took over as chief minister. In fact, Yediyurappa, who is now a former chief minister, had even visited the home of Lad in Mumbai, after BJP came to power in Karnataka.

After the mixed results in the Rajya Sabha elections, the polls are very crucial for Maha Vikas Aghadi.

In the polls to the Upper House of Parliament, in a similar battle for six seats with seven in fray, Shiv Sena candidate Sanjay Pawar lost to BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik.

In the 288-member Assembly, one seat is vacant because of the death of Shiv Sena legislator Ramesh Latke.

Besides, NCP legislators - Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh have been denied permission by the Bombay High Court to vote and it is not yet clear whether they would be moving the Supreme Court.

The quota for winning would be 26 or 27 depending on the actual number of MLAs voting in the polls.

The 29 members - of smaller parties and independents are once again going to be crucial and the fate of Jagtap and Lad depends on them.

The BJP, which has 106 seats has fielded five candidates - Pravin Darekar, Prof Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bharatiya, Uma Khapre and Lad - and can win four easily with its own strength.

The Shiv Sena - which has fielded Sachin Ahir and Amasha Padvi - can easily win two seats with 55 legislators, while the two NCP candidates - Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar and Eknath Khadse - can bank on its 51 legislators and independents supporting it. However, the Congress party with 44 legislators - whose candidates are Chandrakant Handore and Jagtap - needs additional votes from Shiv Sena and NCP and independents and smaller parties, to ensure the victory of its two nominees.

Both Jagtap and Lad, had approached Hitendra Thakur of Bahujan Vikas Aghadi, which commands three seats.

The Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP) and Asaduddin Owaisi’s outfit All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), has not yet clarified what stand it is going to take.

Published 18 June 2022, 09:14 IST

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