Uddhav Thackeray, 8 others set to enter Maharashtra council unopposed
Mumbai, May 12: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and eight other candidates in the fray for the May 21 polls to the legislative council are set to get elected to the Upper House unopposed.
Five out of the 14 nominations were either withdrawn or rejected over technical ground, leaving only nine candidates in the fray for the same number of seats, said an official from Chief Electoral Office of Maharashtra.
The Maharashtra Legislative Council election is scheduled for nine seats for which 14 nominations were received. Out of these, Dr Ajit Gopchade and Sandeep Lele of the BJP withdrew their nominations.
"Two dummy forms submitted by Kiran Pawaskar and Shivajirao Garje from the NCP were also withdrawn today, said the official. He said the fifth nomination form was submitted by one Shehbaj Rathod, which was rejected on technical ground, leading nine candidates in the fray for as many seats. It means, including chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, all the nine candidates will get elected to the Upper House of the state legislature unopposed, the official said.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had on Monday said any contest during the ongoing coronavirus crisis would have sent a wrong message to people. He had said an election would have been against the guidelines related to gathering and maintaining social distancing.
Members of the 288-strong state assembly constitute the electoral college for these biennial council polls. As per legal provision, the returning officer will communicate to the Election Commission of India (ECI) about nine candidates remaining in the fray for as many seats once the nomination withdrawal deadline is over (on May 14).
The returning officer will communicate the status to the ECI, which will issue certificate of nomination to these candidates by May 26, said the official. Shiv Sena has fielded Thackeray and deputy chairperson of Legislative Council Neelam Gorhe for the Upper House.
The NCP has nominated Amol Mitkari and Shashikant Shinde, while the Congress has nominated Rajesh Rathod. The Sena, the NCP and the Congress are constituents of the ruling coalition.
BJP nominees are Ramesh Karad, Gopichand Padalkar, Pravin Datke and Ranjitsinh Mohite-Patil. Gorhe was one of the nine members of the Upper House whose term ended on April 24. Except Gorhe, all the other candidates, including Thackeray, will be entering the Upper House for the first time.