Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said he and party colleague Sanjay Pawar will on Thursday file their nomination papers for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.
Shiv Sena’s Kolhapur district president Sanjay Pawar will be the party’s second candidate for the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls, Raut had said on Tuesday, in a clear snub to former MP Sambhaji Chhatrpati who was seeking support for his candidature.
The Sena, which heads the coalition government in Maharashtra, will contest two Rajya Sabha seats and ensure victory in both, asserted Raut, whom the party has given a fourth consecutive term in the Upper House of Parliament.
Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, Raut said, “The Shiv Sena leaders had a discussion with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and it has been decided that Sanjay Pawar and I will file our nominations for the Rajya Sabha polls on Thursday. There is no question of supporting Sambhajiraje anymore.”
He said CM Thackeray will be present when they file their nomination papers.
“The Shiv Sena has been firm on giving tickets to party candidates and we repeatedly communicated it to Sambhajiraje as well,” he said.
Asked about Shiv Sena fighting against Sambhaji Chhatrapati, Raut said, “We are not fighting against him. We respect him. We have enough numbers in the Assembly to win two seats, hence we have fielded Sanjay Pawar as well.”
Earlier, Sambhaji Chhatrapati had been nominated to the Rajya Sabha from the President’s quota.
Six Rajya Sabha seats from the state will go to polls on June 10, with the opposition BJP having the numbers to get two of its candidates elected.
The ruling Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in Maharashtra have enough votes to secure one win each, while together they can win the sixth seat as well, for which the Sena has thrown its hat in the ring.
The tenure of six Rajya Sabha members from Maharashtra Piyush Goyal, Vinay Sahastrabuddhe and Vikas Mahatme (all three from the BJP), P Chidambaram (Congress), Praful Patel (NCP) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena) ends on July 4.
The 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly constitutes the electoral college Rajya Sabha elections, 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.