With only seven candidates in the fray for as many Rajya Sabha seats from Maharashtra, all of them are set to get elected unopposed. Tuesday was the last date for filing nominations.
The seven are NCP president Sharad Pawar and general secretary Majid Memon, RPI (A) chief Ramdas Athavale, Independent candidate Sanjay Kakade, Congress’ sitting MPs Murli Deora and Hussain Dalwai and Shiv Sena’s Rajkumar Dhoot.
The scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on Wednesday.
Kakade, a real estate developer from Pune, has elicited support from Independent MLAs and some surplus votes from both ruling and opposition parties. He wanted to contest last time too but Pawar had then asked him to withdraw from the race. This time, it seems, Kakade will manage to enter the Upper House along with Pawar.
The NCP chief’s election to the Rajya Sabha signals his exit from the Lok Sabha contest.
Athavale filed his nomination papers on Tuesday. In his affidavit, he declared his total assets as Rs 3.55 crore. The BJP has given its lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state to Athavale.
The biennial elections were scheduled to be held on February 7, but in the absence of any competition all candidates require only 37 votes each to get elected.
The elections were necessitated as the term of seven sitting members — Prakash Javdekar (BJP), Bharatkumar Raut and Rajkumar Dhoot (Shiv Sena), Murli Deora and Hussain Dalwai (Congress), Y P Trivedi and Janardhan Waghmare (NCP) — ends on April 2.