After Rajya Sabha drama, Maharashtra MLC polls may see nail-biting finish

The drama that was played out during the Rajya Sabha polls is likely to be repeated in the Maharashtra legislative council polls that would be held on June 20. Eleven candidates are contesting for 10 seats in the legislative council.

Cross voting among parties is likely to rise as BJP has put up five candidates, whereas it has numbers to elect only four candidates. So, once again, the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance and its allies like the Independents have been approached to get BJP’s fifth candidate elected. The situation could have been more interesting had Sadabhau Khot – the BJP supported sixth candidate – would have been in fray. However, the party had Khot withdraw his nomination on Monday.

While NCP and Shiv Sena have the numbers to get each of their two candidates elected, Congress would need ten more votes of its allies and independents to elect one of its MLC candidates. BJP would need 22 votes for its fifth candidate from outside the party.

Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis on Monday admitted that it is a ‘difficult task’ for BJP to get its fifth candidate elected when it was short on numbers but said, “There is a lot of unrest within the MVA alliance, those who are unhappy within the alliance need an outlet (to express their anger against the government) and so we have put forth our fifth candidate to capitalise on that.”

The BJP leader said that the party wanted the MLC candidates to be elected unopposed. He, however, blamed Congress for not withdrawing its second candidate for the MLC polls. “Our expectations were that the elections should have happened without a fight. Some in the MVA also wanted that. However, the Congress refused to withdraw its second candidate,” said Fadnavis.

The BJP is confident of getting its fifth candidate elected as, unlike the Rajya Sabha poll, the MLC poll is conducted through a secret ballot where there are more chances of cross voting. The BJP is again confident of wooing over the same MLAs of the MVA and Independents who voted for it in the Rajya Sabha polls.

A miffed Shiv Sena has indicated to the NCP and Congress to ‘make their own arrangements’ for the MLC polls. The Sena leadership is upset over the loss of its second candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls and has blamed both the NCP and the Congress for not doing enough to get its candidate elected and hence has now told them to not depend on the Sena for their votes.

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