Council polls: BJP adds twist to tale, fields 6th candidate

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Jul 2018 10:38:14


Staff Reporter,

The elections to 11 seats of Legislative Council may not be unopposed. Adding a twist to the tale of ‘unopposed election’ so far, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded one more candidate other than its five for the elections. This has increased the number of nominations filed for 11 seats to 12, which has created a likelihood of a contest if one of the 12 candidates does not withdraw from the fray by July 9.

Thursday was the last day for filing of nominations for elections to 11 seats of Legislative Council. To everyone’s surprise, BJP’s Prithviraj Deshmukh also submitted nomination papers. Prithviraj Deshmukh is former MLA from Sangli. In 1996, he got elected to Legislative Assembly in by-elections held after demise of Sampatrao Deshmukh, who had defeated Congress heavyweight (now late) Patangrao Kadam in 1995. After expiry of his term, Prithviraj Deshmukh stayed with Congress for some time and later joined Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). A few years ago, he joined BJP.

Till Wednesday, BJP had fielded five candidates namely Mahadev Jankar, sitting Animal Husbandry Minister and leader of BJP ally Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP); Vijay alias Bhai Girkar, former Minister of State; Ram Patil Ratolikar, BJP District President of Nanded (Rural); Ramesh Narayan Patil, President of Koli Mahasangh from Thane, and Nilay Naik, former President of Yavatmal Zilla Parishad.

However, as Jankar filed his nomination papers as RSP candidate and not as BJP candidate, BJP decided to field Prithviraj Deshmukh as its candidate. According to sources, BJP did it to maintain a pressure on Jankar to contest as BJP candidate. If everything falls in right place for BJP, it may ask Deshmukh to withdraw by July 9, the last date for withdrawal of nominations. If Deshmukh withdraws, the elections to all 11 seats will be unopposed. Raosaheb Danve, State President of BJP, accompanied party candidates when they submitted their nomination papers to election officers on Thursday. Talking to mediapersons, Danve said that he was confident of victory of all six candidates of the party. “BJP has declared six names for elections to 11 seats of Maharashtra Legislative Council. Five of them are from BJP and Mahadev Jankar is from our alliance partner Rashtriya Samaj Paksha,” he said.

Apart from BJP’s six (including Jankar), Shiv Sena has fielded Anil Parab and Manisha Kayande, NCP has given ticket to Babajani Durrani, and Congress has fielded Dr Wajahat Mirza from Yavatmal, and Sharad Ranpise, Congress group leader in the Upper House. Apart from these 11 candidates, Jayant Patil of Peasants and Workers Party also is in the fray. Thus, there are total 12 candidates for 11 seats.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Congress candidates Dr Wajahat Mirza and Sharad Ranpise submitted their nomination papers to election office in Vidhan Bhavan premises. Ashok Chavan, President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee; Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Leader of Opposition in Assembly; Jayant Patil, State President of NCP; Prithviraj Chavan, former Chief Minister and senior leader of Congress; Manikrao Thakre, Deputy Chairman of Legislative Council; Naseem Khan, former Minister; Dr Sudhir Tambe, Chandrakant Raghuwanshi, Ramhari Rupnavar, all of them legislators, and others accompanied the candidates.

Anil Desai, Rajya Sabha member of Shiv Sena; Subhash Desai, Industries Minister; and other leaders of Shiv Sena accompanied the party candidates Manisha Kayande and Anil Parab when they filed nomination papers on Thursday.