Fear of cross voting looms large in upcoming Maharashtra Legislative Council elections

The Maha Vikas Aghadi has the support of 63 MLAs, and is short of at least six votes to get all of their three candidates elected, while the ruling Maha Yuti has 200-plus seats.
Last Updated : 03 July 2024, 14:35 IST

Follow Us :


Mumbai: For nearly quarter of a century, the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha and Maharashtra Legislative Council generally went unopposed and were a smooth affair. 

However, things changed a couple of years ago.

On June 10, 2022, when elections to six Rajya Sabha seats were held, the BJP put up an additional candidate and defeated a candidate of the undivided Shiv Sena led by the then Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who headed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. 

Just 10 days later, on June 20, 2022, a total of 11 candidates were in fray to fill up 10 vacancies of the Maharashtra Legislative Council where the Congress candidate was defeated in the polls because of an additional BJP candidate.

Surprisingly, on the following day, Eknath Shinde led the banner of revolt against the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena with the support of BJP.

Shinde then became the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and BJP's heavyweight leader Devendra Fadnavis, a former Chief Minister and ex-Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister after the BJP high-command asked him to be part of the government. 

Exactly a year later, on July 2, 2023, a similar rebellion happened in the NCP with Ajit Pawar raising a banner of revolt against his uncle and mentor Sharad Pawar and switching over to the NDA camp to become the Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

Now after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, things have changed further. 

The biennial election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council in 11 seats is scheduled to take place on July 12 this year.

Although the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly has 288 seats, the current strength of the House is 274, which will make up the electoral college for the July 12 polls.

As per the formula, every MLC seat will need a quota of 23 votes. 

The Maha Vikas Aghadi has the support of 63 MLAs, and is short of at least six votes to get all the three candidates elected, while the ruling Maha Yuti has 200-plus seats.

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

Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, who calls the shots of the party in Maharashtra, has carefully chosen candidates based on the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls. 

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

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

From the MVA-I.N.D.I.A. opposition bloc, three candidates are in fray.

Congress has re-nominated Dr Pradnya Satav, 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). 

"The BJP has 103 members in the Assembly, followed by the NCP (40) and the Shiv Sena (38). On the opposition side, the Congress has 37 MLAs, the Shiv Sena (UBT) 15, and NCP (SP) 10. The Maya Yuti can get nine candidates elected, and has fielded nine candidates. However, the Maha Vikas Aghadi has put up three candidates given the fact that they can get only two persons elected, and might fall short of six votes for third candidate. This has led to the possibility of cross-voting", political observers said. 

Published 03 July 2024, 14:35 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us