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Maha council polls: BJP stuns MVA again, bags 5 seats; NCP, Sena win 2, Cong 1

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 21, 2022 01:51 IST
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In another setback for the Maha Vikas Aghadi, the Bharatiya Janata Party won all five seats it contested in the Maharashtra legislative council on Monday, while two candidates each of ruling coalition allies Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party, including Eknath Khadse of the NCP, also sailed through, but their partner Congress suffered a jolt as it managed to bag just one seat.

IMAGE: Former Maharashtra CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis along with party legislators speaking to reporters after winning the legislative council elections in Mumbai, June 20, 2022. Photograph: Sahil Salvi for Rediff.com

All the eight candidates secured the minimum quota of 26 votes each to make it to the upper house of the state legislature, the official added.

Ten Council seats were up for grabs and 11 candidates were in the fray for the elections, which came days after the Rajya Sabha polls, which saw the Bharatiya Janata Party handing an embarrassing defeat to the Shiv Sena-led ruling coalition MVA.

 

While the BJP had enough numbers in the assembly to get four nominees elected easily, its fifth candidate Prasad Lad, too, made it to the Upper House of the state legislature after securing support from MLAs outside his party's pool of legislators, who voted in the elections earlier in the day.

Eight candidates, four of the BJP and two each of the Shiv Sena and the NCP, secured the minimum quota of 26 votes each to make it to the Upper House in the first round of voting, said an 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.

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 Maha Vikas Aghadi, 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 the first four bagged the minimum quota of votes required to win the poll in the first round of counting.

The fifth candidate of the BJP -- Lad and Congress nominee Bhai Jagtap secured sufficient number of votes and won in the second round.

The second Congress candidate, Chandrakant Handore, secured 22 first preference votes, while his party colleague Jagtap got 19, but the latter managed to get more second preference votes and eventually won.

Handore could not made it to the finishing line as he failed to bag enough second preference votes.

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.

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 were transferred to our fifth candidate Prasad Lad."

"If you count all the votes of first preference to the BJP candidates, we have won 134 votes. It means, we have won more votes than we secured in the Rajya Sabha elections (held on June 10)," he said.

Earlier in the day, 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.

All 285 eligible MLAs took part in the polling process, but two votes were invalidated.

The counting of votes began after a two-hour delay at around 7 pm.

The results of the Council polls have come as a major boost to the opposition BJP, which just 10 days ago, managed to win a third Rajya Sabha seat from Maharashtra despite lacking in numbers in the assembly and in the process defeated its former ally Shiv Sena.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party had fielded two candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls, but one of them, Sanjay Pawar lost.

The latest outcome has once again raised questions over the cohesiveness and coordination among the MVA allies -- the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress.

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