MUMBAI: The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are taking care that their votes should not defect in the legislative council election scheduled on December 7.
The bypoll is being held for the seat vacated by Rane who quit Congress in September. On October 1, Rane formed a new party called Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha, saying he would support the BJP-led NDA.
There were rumours that BJP would field Rane from the seat, but BJP fielded Prasad Lad. The Congress fielded Dilip Mane, former MLC. NCP also supported Mane. In the Assembly Congress has 42 and NCP 41 MLAs. The NCP and Congress are trying to ensure that these 83 votes go to Mane and not a single vote goes to the BJP candidate.
Shiv Sena supported Lad, after an assurance from the BJP that they are not fielding Rane. Lad will get BJP’s 123 MLAs’ votes and Shiv Sena’s 63 votes.
BJP is claiming they will get two-three extra votes.
To avoid cross-voting, Congress State president Ashok Chavan and NCP leader Ajit Pawar had a meeting at Yashvantrao Chavan Pratishthan with their MLAs, where they instructed them to vote for the Congress candidate, and warned of disciplinary action if cross-voting takes place.