Mumbai: The scheduled elections for the nine seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council will be fought unopposed, as the extra nominations filed by the BJP and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have been withdrawn.
Fourteen candidates submitted their nominations for the nine seats, out of which one’s form was disqualified in scrutiny. At the same time, the NCP and BJP withdrew their forms.
In a strange move, BJP’s official candidate Dr Ajit Gopchhade withdrew his nomination, and rebel candidate Ramesh Karad will contest the election.
For council elections, the ruling Mahavikas Aghadi (MVA) had nominated five official candidates, including Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and BJP had filed two each extra nominations as dummy candidates.
Apart from this, one Shahbaz Rathod had filed nomination as an independent candidate. His nomination form stood invalid as there was no signature of MLA as proposer and supporter on his form.
NCP’s Kiran Pawaskar and Shivaji Garje, who had filed their nomination as dummy candidates, took back their nominations.
The BJP’s list was finalised in Delhi, and Dr Gopchhade remained a candidate. Surprisingly, he withdrew his nomination, and Karad’s nomination stood final. BJP’s Sandeep Lele also withdrew his nomination.
According to sources, the BJP had turned down Pankaja Munde. Therefore, Karad, who is close to Munde, was given the seat to pacify the Vanjari community.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and four other candidates from the ruling alliance had filed their nominations on Monday for the May 21 MLC polls on May 11.
There was also some intrigue regarding CM Thackeray’s election, as Late on Saturday evening, the Congress had unexpectedly fielded a second nominee - Rajkishor Modi alias Papa Modi - as the 10th candidate in the fray, besides senior Jalna leader, Rajesh Rathod, which would have necessitated an unwanted election.
But none of the parties including the Sena-NCP and the BJP were keen on a contest and efforts started late on Saturday to convince the Congress to take back the name of Papa Modi, a highly respected leader from Beed.
After a long meeting among the MVA partners, state Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat announced on Sunday evening that the party has decided to withdraw the candidature of Papa Modi.
Shiv Sena: CM Uddhav Thackeray, Dr Neelam Gorhe
BJP: Pravin Datake, Ramesh Karad, Gopichand Padalkar, Ranjeetsingh Mohite-Patil
NCP: Amol Mitkari, Shashikant Shinde
Congress: Rajesh Rathod.
With Agency inputs