Mumbai: The NCP is likely to field its Maharashtra unit vice president Shashikant Shinde and another leader Amol Mitkari as its candidates for the upcoming state Legislative Council election, party sources said on Saturday.
The election for the nine legislative council seats is due on May 21 and the last date for filing of nominations is May 11.
The electoral college (for the election) is 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
The sources said that the NCP and ally Shiv Sena, which have 54 and 56 seats respectively, will contest two seats each in the election, where securing 29 votes (of MLAs) can see a candidate sail through.
The Congress (44 MLAs) is in a position to bag one seat, but is insisting on consisting one more seat with the help of the NCP and Shiv Sena.
"The NCP has finalised the names of former state minister Shinde and Mitkari, who had campaigned hard for the party in the Assembly election held last year," the sources said.
They said that Shinde and Mitkari may file their nominations on coming Monday, which is the last day to do so.
At 54, the NCP is short of four votes, but the party is relying on the support of smaller allies and independents for support for victory, the sources said.
Asked about the Congress being keen on contesting one more seat, the sources said the Sonia Gandhi-led party is falling short of 14 votes to secure victories in both the seats.
"If it can manage to get these additional 14 votes, it can proceed with contesting the second seat too," the sources said.
The BJP, which has 105 seats, has already announced the names of its four candidates for the election.
The Shiv Sena is set to contest two seats, including the one for Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is the party president.