Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and eight other candidates in the fray for the May 21 polls to the state legislative Council are set to get elected to the Upper House unopposed after five out of the 14 nominations were either withdrawn or rejected over technical grounds on Tuesday.
“All the nine candidates are set to be announced as elected unopposed on Thursday,” said an official, adding that a notification would be issued subsequently by the CEO stating about their election and completion of the election process.
On Tuesday, four candidates — BJP’s Sandeep Lele and Ajit Gopchade and NCP’s Kiran Pawaskar and Shivajirao Garje — withdrew their nominations, while papers of Independent candidate Shehbaz Rathod were found invalid during scrutiny, officials at Chief Electoral Office said.
With this, Shiv Sena’s Thackeray and Neelam Gorhe, NCP’s Shashikant Shinde and Amol Mitakri, Congress’s Rajesh Rathod and BJP’s Gopichand Padalkar, Pravin Datke, Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil and Ramesh Karad are in the fray.
Interestingly, the BJP withdrew the nomination of Ajit Gopchade, whose name was announced by the central leadership, and replaced him with Ramesh Karad, a close confidante of late Gopinath Munde and his daughter former minister Pankaja Munde.
Earlier this month, the Election Commission had announced the Legislative Council polls for nine seats after Thackeray approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to avoid the constitutional crisis in the state.
Thackeray has to become a member of either Houses of the state legislature by May 27.