Mumbai, July 10: The Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections for 11 seats for the upcoming biennial elections scheduled to take place on July 16 will go unopposed. As per the news reports, Prithviraj Deshmukh, the 12th candidate who had filed his nomination from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against Rashtriya Samaj Pakash's (RSP) Mahadev Jankar, has withdrawn his nomination on Tuesday for unknown reasons. RSP is a coalition partner of BJP in Maharashtra state government.
Earlier, after Deshmukh had filed his nomination for elections, speculations were rife that Jankar will withdraw his nominations after a mutual decision with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Reportedly, Jankar was asked by the BJP to contest elections on their party symbol. However, he continued to contest elections from his own party RSP's symbol, following which Deshmukh was fielded by the BJP against him.
With Deshmukh having left the race for MLC elections, there are now eleven candidates for 11 seats. Therefore, the biennial elections for all these seats are set for results unopposed. Congress will contest on two MLC seats out of 11. The two candidates are Wajahat Mirza, a new candidate for Yavatmal seat after Manikrao Thakre was denied the ticket of MLC from Congress, while Sharad Ranpise retained the MLC seat from the party. Similarly, NCP has nominated Babajani Durrani and both NCP and Congress have decided to support each other. The BJP has retained retiring member Vijay Girkar for MLC seat, while it will support coalition partner RSP leader and Animal Husbandry Minister Mahadeo Jankar for MLC election.
The counting of votes will be done after 5 pm on the day of elections, July 16. However, as no candidate has filed nomination against the contesting candidates, the victory of these MLCs has already been confirmed. An official announcement from Election Commission of the State will be made on July 16. The current party-wise strength in the Upper House of Maharashtra Assembly consisting a total of 78 MLCs is as follows: NCP 20, Congress 18, BJP 20, Sena 11, JD-U 1, PWP-I 1, PRP 1, Independents 6. The 11 members whose term ends on July 27 ends are, Council Deputy Chairman Manikrao Thakare, Sanjay Dutt and Sharad Ranpise (all Congress MLCs), Sunil Tatkare, Jaideorao Gaikwad, Narendra Patil and Amarsing Pandit (NCP), Vijay Girkar and Minister for Dairy Development Mahadev Jankar (BJP), Anil Parab (Shiv Sena) and Jayant Patil (PWP).