Maharashtra Legislative Council elections: BJP set to become largest party in House after biennial legislature polls

Mumbai: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to become the single largest party in the Maharashtra Legislative Council after the biennial elections to 11 seats in the Upper House of the state legislature on 16 July.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) had last week announced election to the 11 EMLA (Elected by MLAs) constituency seats. Of the 11 members whose term of membership will end on 27 July, four are from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), three from the Congress, two of the BJP and one each from the Shiv Sena and the Peasants and Workers Party of India (PWP).

Considering their numerical strength in the Legislative Assembly, the BJP can comfortably win five seats, the Shiv Sena three, while Congress-NCP can safely win one seat each and can also help sitting PWP MLC Jayant Patil to retain his seat. The current party-wise strength in the 78 member legislative council is as follows: NCP 20, Congress 18, BJP 20, Sena 11, Janata Dal United (JD-U) 1, PWP-I 1, Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) 1, Independents 6.

 Maharashtra Legislative Council elections: BJP set to become largest party in House after biennial legislature polls

Representational image. Reuters

The 11 members whose term ends on 27 July are: Council7 Deputy Chairman Manikrao Thakare, Sanjay Dutt and Sharad Ranpise (all Congress), Sunil Tatkare, Jaideorao Gaikwad,7 Narendra Patil and Amarsing Pandit (NCP), Vijay Girkar and Minister for Dairy Development Mahadev Jankar (BJP), Anil Parab (Shiv Sena) and Jayant Patil (PWP).

As per the poll schedule announced by the ECI, the last date for filing nominations is 5 July. The scrutiny of nomination papers will be taken up on 6 July and last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is 9 July.

Polling will be held on 16 July, while counting of votes and results will be declared in the evening on the same day. The electoral college for the 11 EMLA constituency seats are the 289 members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). Since the elections are to be held for 11 seats, the quota required by contesting candidates to win is 25 votes.

The current party-wise strength in the 289 member Legislative Assembly is:- BJP 122, Sena 63, Congress 42, NCP 41, PWP 3, Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi (BVA) 3, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) 2, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) 1, Samajwadi Party (SP) 1, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) 1, Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPM) 1, RSP 1, Independents 7 and Nominated (Anglo-Indian) 1.

The BJP-Sena and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies together have a total vote share of about 134 votes, while the Congress-NCP and its allies have a vote share of about 92 votes.

In order to prevent cross-voting in this election held by secret ballot, the Congress and the NCP might prefer not to field more candidates than it can ensure comfortable victory. The opposition Congress-NCP, with its current numerical majority has been controlling the proceedings in the Upper House.

Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar belongs to the NCP, while Deputy Chairman Manikrao Thakare is from the Congress. The Leader of Opposition in the Council, Dhananjay Munde, also belongs to the NCP

Updated Date: Jun 30, 2018 15:06:27 IST