MLC polls a no-contest after two withdrawals

June 04, 2016 12:00 am | Updated September 16, 2016 10:27 am IST - MUMBAI:

With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asking one of its candidates to withdraw the nomination and a rebel too stepping back, Maharashtra state council polls reduced to a no-contest.

On Friday, all remaining 10 candidates were declared winners with BJP and allies winning five seats, Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) winning two each and Congress one.

The election had become interesting after BJP’s Prasad Lad filed the nomination as party’s sixth candidate, despite opposition within the party.

Party corporator from Mulund Manoj Kotak too had filed the nomination as an independent, making a total of 12 candidates for 10 seats. It had led to the speculation of money playing a major role in the election.

However, on the last day of withdrawing nominations, Mr. Lad said that he was stepping back as per the orders from party’s leadership. “Sometime you have to concentrate of bigger races and give up on small ones,” he said. Mr. Kotak too withdrew his nomination.

From BJP, Sujit Singh Thakur, Pravin Darekar and R.N. Singh were declared winners while its allies Vinayak Mete of Shivsangram and Sadabhau Khot of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana emerged victorious. Sena’s Divakar Raote and Subhash Desai were re-elected as MLCs along with Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar and Dhananjay Munde of NCP.

Former Chief Minister Narayan Rane is the sole Congress winner, whose comeback to political circles is hailed as an important victory to the party. Known for his aggressive stand and ability to take opposition head on, Mr. Rane is the party’s best bet at a time when it lacks forceful leaders in the state council.

Even though the election has gone unopposed, BJP’s choice of candidates where it fielded turncoats like Mr Darekar and Mr Singh instead of loyalists has come under fire from party members. So much was the discontent that party’s Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar had to call a meeting of BJP leaders to calm them down by explaining reasons behind the selection. Party hopes to win North Indian votes by promoting Mr. Singh who is the chief of Uttar Bharatiya Sangh and plans to increase its tally in North Mumbai with the help of Mr. Darekar.

Friday also witnessed the unopposed election of BJP’s Piyush Goyal and Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, P. Chidambaram of Congress, Praful Patel of NCP and Sanjay Raut of the Sena for the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra.

All remaining candidates were declared winners

with BJP and allies winning five seats

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