All four candidates of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will win the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections from Maharashtra, state Congress chief Nana Patole said on Wednesday.
The Congress is a constituent of Maharastra’s ruling MVA, which also comprises the Shiv Sena and NCP.
Elections to six Rajya Sabha seats from the state are scheduled on June 10.
The MVA has fielded four candidates, while the opposition BJP has nominated three of its leaders for the polls.
Talking to reporters in Shirdi, Patole parried questions on the discontent within the Congress over the candidature of Imran Pratapgarhi, party’s minority cell head who hails from Uttar Pradesh.
I said on the day of filing nomination of (Pratapgarhi) that all four candidates will be victorious. We have the arithmetic with us, he said.
The Congress on Wednesday started the ‘Nav Sankalp Workshop’ at Shirdi in Maharashtra, on the lines of the party’s ‘Chintan Shivir’ held in Rajasthan’s Udaipur city last month.
There has been a discontent over the Congress’s decision to field Pratapgarhi, who is not from the state. Maharashtra Congress general secretary Ashish Deshmukh had resigned to protest over Pratapgarhi’s candidature.
Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan had suggested that Mukul Wasnik, who is contesting from Rajasthan, be fielded from Maharashtra as he hails from the state.
Some leaders had taken to Twitter to express their displeasure over the party’s decision.
However, Patole attributed the Congress’s decision to democracy in the party.
He also said that 40-50 office-bearers have tendered resignation from various Congress posts, in line with the party’s decision of ‘one person one post’ taken during the Chintan Shivir in Udaipur.
The six Rajya Sabha seats from Maharashtra will go to polls on June 10. However, there are seven candidates in the fray for the polls, for which the state Assembly forms the electoral college.
The BJP, with its strength in the state Assembly, can win two Rajya Sabha seats on its own. The Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena can win one seat each.
However, the Sena has fielded two candidates -Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar – and is banking on surplus votes of the Congress and NCP for the victory.
The BJP has fielded Union minister Piyush Goyal, and senior leaders Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.