For the first time in 24 years, Maharashtra will see election to the Upper House of the Parliament. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena have put up their candidates in fray for the sixth seat of Rajya Sabha from the state and none among the seven candidates paper withdrew their nomination till the deadline of 3 PM on Friday. The polls are scheduled on June 10.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance reached out to the BJP to withdraw their candidate for what they claimed for the sake of good political practice in the state, but the BJP did not agree to it. In the Rajya Sabha polls, the Shiv Sena had fielded Sanjay Raut for its first seat while Sanjay Pawar would fight it out with BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik. Other candidates who will have a smooth ride from the state will be Union minister for Commerce and Textiles Piyush Goyal and Anil Bonde from the BJP, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel and Indian National Congress (INC) candidate Imran Pratapgarhi.
After the declaration of candidature of Congress nominee there was disquiet in the party as few leaders went public while questioning the decision of party high command to nominate someone from outside the state.
In the Rajya Sabha polls, the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) will vote. A candidate from Maharashtra will need the support of 42 members to emerge victorious as the state Legislative Assembly has the total strength of 288-members. Presently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 105 members while the Shiv Sena has 56. Other parties like the MVA alliance partners, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has 53 and the Congress has 44 MLAs respectively. The outcome will depend upon 20-odd fence sitters from the independents and smaller parties.