TWO candidates each of the ruling coalition allies NCP and the Shiv Sena, one of Congress and all five nominees of the Opposition BJP on Monday night won elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC), said an official.
All the ten candidates secured the minimum quota of 26 votes each to make it to the Upper House of the state legislature, said the official.
Chairman of Legislative Council and NCP candidate Ramraje Nimbalkar, Leader of Opposition in the Upper House Pravin Darekar of the BJP and former BJP Minister and now NCP nominee Eknath Khadse easily bagged sufficient number of first preference votes to post wins. The final vote tally was be announced when all the rounds of counting was over. Both the candidates of the Shiv Sena -- Sachin Ahir and Aamshya Padavi - also won the election, while the two nominees of the Congress, which is part of the ruling coalition MVA, failed to secure the minimum quota of the first preference vote.
The BJP had fielded five candidates - Darekar, Ram Shinde, Uma Khapre, Shrikant Bharatiya and Prasad Lad - of which all the five have bagged the minimum quota of votes required to win the poll. Atul Bhatkhalkar, an MLA of the BJP said, “Darekar secured 29 votes of first preference, while Ram Shinde and Bharatiya secured 30 votes of first preference each. It means, our excess votes of top three candidates on the list will be transferred to our fifth candidate Prasad Lad.”
“If you count all the votes of first preference to the BJP candidates, we have won 133 votes. It means, we have won more votes than we secured in the Rajya Sabha elections (held on June 10),” he said.
The BJP has 106 MLAs in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, while remaining votes for its candidates have either come from independent MLAs, or those from small parties or from other parties.
Voting for the elections to 10 vacant MLC seats was held between 9 am and 4 pm at the Legislature Complex in south Mumbai. In all, 11 candidates - five of the BJP and two each of the Sena, the NCP and the Congress were in the fray.
The counting of votes began after a two-hour delay at around 7 pm. The State MLAs form the electoral college for the MLC elections.
The effective strength of the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly is reduced to 285 following the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke, while two NCP MLAs - Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh - are currently in jail and have not been allowed to vote by a court.
BJP MLA Mukta Tilak, who is suffering from a serious ailment, arrived in a car at the Vidhan building here after travelling from Pune. She was then taken inside the Legislature complex in a wheel-chair to cast her ballot.
Another BJP legislator Laxman Jagtap, who has been bed-ridden for a long time, arrived at the Vidhan Bhavan from Pune in an ambulance. He was also taken in a wheelchair to the central hall of the Vidhan Bhavan building to cast his vote.
Over the past few days, the four major parties held discussions with Independents and smaller players to devise their strategies for winning the elections.
Earlier, Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday ruled out chances of cross-voting and said the Legislative Council elections will show that there will be no split in his party-led MVA.
Supreme Court ‘no’ to release of jailed NCP leaders to vote in MLC polls: The Supreme Court on Monday declined the plea of Nationalist Congress Party leaders and MLAs Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh seeking temporary release from prison to cast their votes in the Maharashtra Legislative Council election, which is underway.
However, a vacation bench of Justices C T Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia agreed to examine the issue relating to the interpretation of Section 62(5). of the Representation of the People Act 1951, which bars jailed persons from voting.