May not need elections for Maharashtra’s 6 Rajya Sabha seats: BJP’s Bawankule | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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May not need elections for Maharashtra’s 6 Rajya Sabha seats: BJP’s Bawankule

Feb 14, 2024 08:00 PM IST

Two former Congress leaders, Ashok Chavan and Milind Deora, have been named by the BJP, and Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, as the party candidates for the Rajya Sabha

MUMBAI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit in Maharashtra on Wednesday indicated that the party will not force an election for the six Rajya Sabha seats and the candidates named by the respective parties may win uncontested.

Former Congress leader MLA Ashok Chavan being welcomed into the BJP by state unit chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule and other party leaders at BJP office in Mumbai on Tuesday (HT Photo/Anshuman Poyrekar)
Former Congress leader MLA Ashok Chavan being welcomed into the BJP by state unit chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule and other party leaders at BJP office in Mumbai on Tuesday (HT Photo/Anshuman Poyrekar)

“Six candidates could get elected to Rajya Sabha unanimously… It doesn’t look like voting would be needed,” Maharashtra BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule said on Wednesday after the party’s central election committee named its candidates, former chief minister Ashok Chavan, former Pune legislator Medha Kulkarni, and party worker Ajit Gopchhade, for the three seats that the party was expected to win.

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Besides, the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena has named Milind Deori and the Congress has proposed former minister and Dalit leader Chandrakant Handore. The Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has named Praful Patel.

Also, the last date to file the nomination papers is February 15. If more than six candidates are in the fray, the elections will be held on February 27.

That the BJP did not renew Union minister Narayan Rane’s membership to the Council of States has triggered speculation that the party may ask 71-year-old Rane to contest the Lok Sabha elections from the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha seat, which has been with the Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Vinayak Raut for the last two terms.

Rane’s term in the Rajya Sabha ends on April 2.

A senior BJP leader said the ruling alliance was discussing if it should field a fourth candidate but there was a view that the optics of a battle with the Congress candidate, a Dalit, may not serve the alliance’s interests. “Since Congress has fielded a Dalit leader… it won’t be politically correct,” the leader said.

Chandrakant Handore, who was once a state minister and a Mumbai mayor, was also the Congress’s candidate for the June 2022 biennial elections for ten legislative council seats but he faced an embarrassing defeat due to cross-voting by Congress lawmakers.

With the existing strength of 284 MLAs, each Rajya Sabha seat needs 41 votes to win. The BJP and the Independents supporting it can ensure victory on three seats. The Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar-led NCP can win one seat each. The Congress is the only opposition party that can win one seat.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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