Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on May 19 said the ruling Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress can easily win one Seat each in the upcoming polls to six Rajya Sabha Seats, while the BJP could bag two Seats comfortably.
The NCP president Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met recently and they may have discussed the Rajya Sabha polls, scheduled on June 10, the Deputy Chief Minister told reporters. Notably, the Shiv Sena has already said it is seeking to get two of its candidates elected to the Upper House of Parliament.
The State Congress on Wednesday said the decision on how many Seats will be contested by each of the three ruling parties will be taken after deliberations among the alliance leaders. On Thursday, Ajit Pawar said, "There are six Seats. If you think of quota, the BJP can easily win two Seats and it will have some surplus votes." "The Shiv Sena can get one Seat. But, it has substantial surplus votes. The NCP can easily get bag one Seat and has some surplus votes. The Congress can win a Seat and have one-three votes surplus, depending upon quota," he added.
The tenure of six Rajya Sabha members from Maharashtra — Piyush Goyal, Vinay Sahastrabuddhe and Vikas Mahatme (all three from the BJP), P. Chidambaram (the Congress), Praful Patel (the NCP) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena) - ends on July 4. All four parties are yet to announce their candidates.
The 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly constitutes the electoral college Rajya Sabha elections, scheduled on June 10 and a candidate needs 42 votes to win a seat.
The BJP currently has 106 MLAs in the State, Shiv Sena-55, NCP-53, Congress-44, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi-3, Samajwadi Party, AIMIM and Prahar Janshakti Party-2 each, MNS, CPM, Peasants and Workers Party, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Swabhimani Party, Jansurajya Shakti and Krantikari Shetkari Party-1 each. There are 13 Independent legislators, while one Seat is lying vacant.
Asked about Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari not yet having approved names of 12 MLCs to be appointed from his quota, Ajit Pawar said the former speaks “positively” whenever they speak on the issue.
“There is no time frame for him (the Governor) to take a decision as per law and the Constitution…When we ask him about appointing the 12 MLCs whenever we meet at any event, he speaks positively and says 'will do it Ajit ji, why are you worrying'," the NCP leader said.
Earlier in the day, the Deputy Chief Minister flagged off the journey of Pune-based Sharad Krida Sanskrutik Pratishthan, which organises bhajan competition for jail inmates.
"They set out on a 40-day journey today. We flagged it from here. They will go to 27 jails and meet inmates," Ajit Pawar said, as he congratulated the organisers and the Home Department for taking such a step. “Once the inmates are out of jail, they should be able to live with respect," he added.