After Lok Sabha blow, Maha Yuti braces for MLC polls amid fear of cross voting

Soon after this, Maharashtra would head for the Assembly elections, expected to be held around October.
Last Updated : 05 July 2024, 11:38 IST

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Mumbai: The crucial biennial elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Council is heading for a cliff-hanger situation with 12 candidates in fray for 11 seats making it an interesting clash between the BJP-led Maha Yuti (NDA) and the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (I.N.D.I.A) just a month after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. 

Among those in fray includes Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray's PA Milind Narvekar and BJP stalwart Pankaja Munde and Dr Pradnya Satav, who is close to the Gandhi family. 

In the recent polls to the Council involving the four seats of  Graduates'/Teachers' constituencies, there was a tie with the two sides winning two seats each.

The electoral college for this Council polls is the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. 

Soon after this, Maharashtra would head for the Assembly elections, expected to be held around October.

Friday was the last day of withdrawal of candidature, however, since there was none, the total candidates in fray are 12. 

The state Assembly, which comprises 288 seats, now has an actual strength of 274.

As per the formula, each candidate would have to secure 23 first-preference votes.

If one looks at the poll arithmetic, the Maha Yuti can win nine seats and have fielded nine candidates while the Maha Vikas Aghadi can secure two seats but has put an additional candidate.

This has led to the possibility of cross-voting keeping the contest wide open.

The five BJP candidates are are former minister and veteran OBC leader Pankaja Munde, Yogesh Tilekar, the President of Bharatiya Janata Party OBC Morcha, Dr Parinay Phuke, a  former minister,  Amit Gorkhe, former Chairman of the Lokshahir Anna Bhau Sathe Development Corporation and Sadabhau Khot, a veteran farmers leader and President of Rayat Kranti Sanghatana, who is an ally of BJP. 

The Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde fielded Krupal Tamhane Bhavana Gawali, who were dropped from Ramtek and Yavatmal-Washim, respectively, in the Lok Sabha elections. 

The Ajit Pawar-led NCP fielded Shivajirao Garje and Rajesh Vitekar. 

From the MVA opposition bloc, three candidates are in fray.

The Congress has renominated Dr Pradnya Satav, the wife of late Congress leader Rajeev Satav, who was close to Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP (SP) has decided to support Jayant Patil, the President of Peasants and  Workers Party of India (PWP). 

Thackeray sprang a surprise by nominating Narvekar, his Man Friday. 

Maha Yuti is falling short of six votes, however, in the wake of the emerging scenario, it is expected that some independents and smaller parties supporting the BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP, would vote for it because of the resentment and the trends that the Lok Sabha polls have reflected. 

Published 05 July 2024, 11:38 IST

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