HomePoliticsJuly 12 MLC election to EMLAs constituency in Maharashtra is likely to...

July 12 MLC election to EMLAs constituency in Maharashtra is likely to be held uncontested

X: @vivekbhavsar

Mumbai: There’s a strong possibility that the July 12 election to elect 11 members in the Upper House (Legislative Council) from the Maharashtra State Legislature’s Assembly constituency (EMLAs) will be uncontested (unopposed). This is aimed at preventing the scourge of horse-trading and cross-voting. A senior leader from a ruling party in the Mahayuti alliance has claimed that both ruling and opposition party leaders are inclined to avoid a contested election for these 11 MLC vacancies.

Despite the intention to avoid a contested election, as of now, there have been no formal discussions initiated between the leaders of the Mahayuti and the Maha Vikas Aghadi regarding this matter. While the ruling and opposition parties are leaning towards an uncontested election to prevent electoral issues, the actual dialogue and agreement between the alliances (Mahayuti and Maha Vikas Aghadi) have not begun as of the current moment.

The election for the Upper House (MLCs) in Maharashtra is necessitated because 11 current members are set to retire on July 27, 2024.

Party Representation of Retiring Members:

Shiv Sena: There will be four members retiring: one from Shiv Sena (Shinde) and one from Shiv Sena (UBT).

NCP: One member retiring.

Peasants and Workers Party (PWP): One member retiring.

Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP): One member retiring.

Congress: Two members retiring.

Names of Retiring Members: They include Dr. Manisha Kayande (Shiv Sena), Vijay Girkar (BJP), Abdullah alias Baba Jani Durrani (NCP), Nilay Naik (BJP), Adv. Anil Parab (Shiv Sena), Ramesh Patil (BJP), Ramrao Patil (BJP), Dr. Wajahat Mirza (Congress), Dr. Pradnya Satav (Congress), Mahadev Jankar (Rashtriya Samaj Paksha), and Jayant Patil (Peasants and Workers Party).

The tally of the Lower House came down to 274 from its original strength of 288 members, as seven members were elected to Lok Sabha, some have passed away in the recent past and few members resigned to join another political party.

The members from the Legislative Assembly form the electoral college for the election to these EMLA constituency vacancies. In the recent 2024 Lok Sabha elections, MLA from Paithan Sandipan Bhumare, MLA from Dharavi Prof Varsha Gaikwad, MLA from Jogeshwari (East) Ravindra Waikar, MLA from Parner Nilesh Lanke, MLA from Varora Pratibha Dhanorkar, MLA from Solapur (City Central) Praniti Shinde and MLA from Daryapur Balwant Wankhede have been elected to Lok Sabha.

As seven Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are elected to the Lok Sabha, which contributed to the decrease in the number of members in the Maharashtra State Legislature Assembly from 288 to 274.

Raju Parve MLA from Umred quit Congress and joined Shiv Sena before the election. He resigned from the post of MLA. BJP MLA from Karanja Rajendra Patani passed away in last February. Congress MLA P N Patil from Karvir in Kolhapur also passed away in May this year. Shiv Sena MLA from Khanapur (Sangli) Anil Babar too died in January this year.

As the valid voters in the electoral college from the Lower House has come down to 274, the quota to elect an MLC to the EMLA constituency has come down to 23 votes.

As per the tally in the Assembly house, five members of the BJP, two each of the Shinde Sena faction and Ajit Pawar led NCP faction will be elected easily.

Whereas from Maha Vikas Aghadi, two from Congress and NCP-UBT sena combine could win easily if the election is held unopposed.

If the election is held unopposed, 2 members each from Congress and the NCP-UBT Sena combine within the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance could win easily. A significant portion of the MLC seats could potentially be filled without contest if the parties involved agree to avoid elections and prevent issues like horse-trading and cross-voting.

If voting is conducted for all 11 seats in the election for the Upper House (MLCs), certain concerns could arise: There is a concern that members from Shiv Sena and NCP might engage in cross voting. Cross voting refers to members voting against their party’s official candidate.

Additionally, there is a risk of horse trading, which involves the buying and selling of votes, especially if the BJP decides to field an extra candidate for the sixth seat. This could potentially lead to attempts to sway votes through promises or other means. The election process for MLCs involves a secret ballot and preferential voting system. In such a system, each voter ranks candidates in order of preference.

The secrecy of the ballot allows members to vote according to their individual preferences without public disclosure. Sources claim that these concerns are particularly relevant within Shiv Sena and NCP, suggesting that there might be internal dynamics or disagreements that could lead to members not voting strictly along party lines.

Sources disclosed that if the election for the 11 MLC seats proceeds to voting, there is a possibility of cross voting within Shiv Sena and NCP, potentially influenced by the dynamics of secret ballot and preferential voting.
Vivek Bhavsar
Vivek Bhavsar
Vivek Bhavsar is the Editor-in-Chief. He is a senior journalist with more than 30 years of experience in political and investigative journalism. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheNews21. He has worked with leading English mainline dailies, including The Asian Age and Free Press Journal, and also carries the experience of strides in leading regional newspapers like Lokmat and Saamana. During his stints at reputed vernacular and English-language dailies, he has demonstrated his versatility in covering the gamut of beats from policy-making to urban ecology.  While reporting extensively on socio-political issues across Maharashtra, he found his métier in political journalism as an expert on government policy-making. He made his mark as an investigative journalist with exposes of government corruption and deft analyses of the decisions made in Mantralaya, as exemplified in his series of reports on the multi-crore petrochemical project at Nanar in the state’s Konkan region, which ultimately compelled the government to scrap the enterprise.

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