Three Congress candidates today filed nominations for the June 10 biennial elections for the Maharashtra Legislative Council.

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Hussain Dalwai, former Pune mayor Dipti Chaudhary, and MPCC General Secretary Sanjay Dutt filed the papers this morning in the presence of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and MPCC President Manikrao Thakre.

NCP candidates Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar, Prakash Binsale and Vinayak Mete also filed their nomination papers for the Council polls.

The deadline for filing the nomination papers ends this afternoon.

For getting elected in the first round itself, a candidate needs 27 first preference votes, where as Congress has 82 MLAs of its own who would be casting the votes.

Party sources claimed that Congress has backing of 17 independents too.

Talking to the reporters later, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said, “we will take a decision as to whom we should transfer additional votes.”

As to whether Congress will field a fourth candidate or an independent one, Mr. Chavan said that decision would be taken before the nomination process ends.

Asked if Congress was trying to play it safe he said, “Every election is a challenge, but we have to be cautious.”

“No party has required extra votes to get an additional candidate elected,” he said.