RS polls: Cong holds meeting of its legislators

Mumbai, Jul 21: In the backdrop of the by-election for the lone Rajya Sabha seat be held on Friday, Jul 22, Maharashtra Congress today held closed door meetings of its MLAs, who form the electoral college in the direct contest between Hussain Dalwai (Congress) and Surendra Mane (BJP).

This will be for the first time since election to Rajya Sabha was made through open ballot, that an election will be held.

The by-election has been necessitated because of the resignation of Prithviraj Chavan as MP in April this year.

Chavan, who was Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), was a two-time Rajya Sabha member before being asked to take charge as Maharashtra Chief Minister in November last year.

Chavan addressed the MLAs including 82 from the Congress, and 12 independents. The meeting of Democratic Front (DF) legislators will be held this evening.

Two observers will be appointed to whom every MLA will have to record his vote and display his voting slip to the observers before inserting it into the ballot box.

If the vote is not according to the whip issued by the respective party, the whip will inform the returning officer, who in turn will keep the voter slip in a separate box.

The 288-member Legislative Assembly forms the electoral college for the by-election. There is one nominated member by the Governor. However, nominated member cannot vote for Rajya Sabha election. There is one vacancy since MNS legislator Ramesh Wanjale passed away last month.

Congress and NCP, the ruling coalition partners have 144 members between them, which is also the required number of votes for the winning candidate. 


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