Maharashtra Legislative Council elections: BJP candidates pass, MVA hit by cross votes in Sena and Congress

In a blow to the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the state Legislative Council polls on Monday as it elected its five candidates – Pravin Darekar, Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bharatiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad. On the other hand, the ruling alliance was blushed by the fact that the Dalit face of Congress, Chandrakant Handore, lost following the cross vote of at least three MPs from Shiv Sena and Congress, and more from its smaller alliance partners. is the second consecutive defeat for the ruling MVA in two weeks, as the BJP on June 10 managed to win over the MVA in the Rajya Sabha polls.

The BJP, which had 106 votes in the Assembly, won 133 votes. The 27 extra votes from other parties and independents paved the way for his victory against MVA, which was more certain of hitting the numbers.

Elections for the Council’s 10 seats had 11 candidates running. While the BJP fielded five candidates, the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena fielded two candidates each.

Within the MVA, both NCP candidates won comfortably. Eknath Khadse (29 votes) and Ramraje Nimbalkar (27 votes) emerged victorious. The PCN, which has 51 deputies, obtained 56 votes.

While Shiv Sena’s two candidates – Amashya Padavi and Sachin Ahir – won the election by polling the required quota of 26 votes each, the party remained furious as they saw at least three of their MPs engage in cross-voting. Against its total membership of 55 votes, the Shiv Sena only managed to secure 52 votes, leaving three votes uncounted.

The scenario in Congress was worse as neither of its two candidates – Bhai Jagtap and Chandrakant Handore – were able to pass in the first round despite 44 MPs. Against 44 votes, their two candidates received 19 and 22 votes respectively in the first round, for a total of 41 votes.

Although Japtap eventually managed to reach the required quota when counting successive rounds, Handore only got 22 votes.

Speaking to the media, opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis, who had planned the BJP’s strategy, said: “The election result revealed the inherent conflict within the MVA. The cross-voting in the Sena and the Congress showed that their members no longer trust the party and the government.

“The BJP only got 106 votes but they got 133 votes. We got 27 more votes,” he pointed out, adding, “In Rajya Sabha polls, from 106 votes, we got 123 Now our count has been increased to 133 votes.

Shortly after the election results, the Shiv Sena celebrations were marred when their politicians learned of their members’ cross-voting. Several leaders rushed to meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at his residence.

However, Sena Chief Sachin Ahir said, “Despite trying to defeat me, the BJP could not succeed. Both Sena candidates won.

While expressing his joy at the victory of the NCP, the state party chairman, Jayant Patil, said: “We will have to find out what went wrong in the MVA that led to the defeat of the candidate for Congress Chandrakant Handore”.

The election results show that in a fortnight, the opposition BJP defeated the Maha Vikas Aghadi twice. Earlier, on June 10, the BJP secured three of its Rajya Sabha candidates as Shiv Sena second candidate Sanjay Pawar lost to BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik. The top three MVA partners could only win one seat each.

The two successive victories of the state BJP show its ability to generate support from small parties and independents, as well as a tactical strategy of vote transfer.

Four BJP candidates – Darekar (29 votes), Shrikant Bharatiya (30 votes), Ram Shinde (30 votes), Uma Khapre (27 votes) – emerged with flying colors in the first round. The fifth candidate, Prasad Lad, received 17 votes in the first round. In the second round, the 12 excess votes went to Lad’s quota, bringing his total to 29.

Earlier, amid major drama, the Legislative Council’s poll count was delayed by two hours. The Congress objected to two ailing BJP members – Laxman Jagtap and Mukta Tilak – asking for help from their aides in the vote. Jagtap and Tilak, who are facing serious health issues, were brought in by road ambulance from Pune.

Senior Congressman Ashok Chavan said, “Laxman Jagtap and Mukta Tilak have signed on the ECI register. If they could sign a register, there was no need for an assistant to help them fill out the ballot. The party filed a written complaint with the returning officer.

As a result, the matter was referred to the office of the Electoral Commission, which dismissed the complaint.

Of the total membership of 288 members of the State Legislative Assembly, 285 members voted in council polls. A Shiv Sena MP, Ramesh Latke, died last month. Two NCP members – minister Nawab Malik and former interior minister Anil Deshmukh – who are in judicial custody and are on trial for separate money laundering cases, were barred from voting.

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