Sena's Eknath Shinde goes unreachable with 11 MLAs a day after the BJP won the MLC polls, putting the Uddhav government on shaky ground.

  • June 21, 2022, 10:41 a.m.

In a major jolt for the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra, urban development minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and 11 party MLAs said to be loyal to him have been unreachable since Monday evening amid the political fallout of the ruling Sena-NCP-Congress losses in the MLC elections.

Shinde and the other MLAs are said to be holed up in a five-star hotel in Surat, Gujarat. Sources said they took a chartered flight to the city at 7 pm on Monday.

The MLC elections were another shocker for the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi coalition in the state after the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls, as the opposition BJP managed to get its extra candidate elected as MLC, trouncing the Congress’ first preference candidate, Chandrakant Handore.

All five BJP nominees were elected despite lacking the numbers, while the MVA also bagged five seats. The prime contest for the tenth seat — between Congress’ Bhai Jagtap and BJP’s Prasad Lad — came as a shocker as both won, while Congress’ first choice Handore suffered an unexpected upset, from the total 11 candidates vying for 10 seats.

The BJP is said to have got 20 extra votes in the MLC elections and is 11 short of the mark needed to oust the Uddhav Thackeray government, making Shinde’s move to Surat with 11 MLAs a worrying factor for Sena, NCP and Congress.

MLC ELECTION STUNNER

The quota for winning in MLC elections was 26 per candidate, and the votes of 29 MLAs from smaller parties or independents were critical for both sides.

In the 288-member strong Lower House, one Shiv Sena MLA, Ramesh Latke, died recently, while two NCP MLAs, Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, who are currently in jail, were denied permission by the courts to vote.

The MVA’s nominees: Sachin Ahir and Amasha Padvi (Shiv Sena), Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar and Eknath Khadse (Nationalist Congress Party) and Bhai Jagtap (Congress) won.

All the BJP’s nominees — Pravin Darekar, Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bhartiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad — sailed through though they were running short on numbers.

This proved to be the second major setback for the MVA after the BJP, under similar circumstances, bagged three Rajya Sabha seats, while the ruling alliance secured three, with one each for Sena-NCP-Congress, while the Sena’s second candidate was defeated.

ALLEGATIONS OF HORSE-TRADING

The NCP has accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading and working secret pacts in the MLC polls which led to Congress’ Chandrakant Handore losing to BJP’s Prasad Lad. The Congress said no one can be blamed if its MLAs did not vote for Handore.

NCP leader Supriya Sule hit out at the BJP and said the saffron party won because of "MED" (Money and Enforcement Directorate). On Congress’ defeat, senior party leader Balasaheb Thorat said it cannot be denied that its MLAs did not vote for the party candidates.

Former CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said the results indicate unrest among ruling MLAs against the MVA government.

"In the Rajya Sabha elections, we managed to win the first preference votes of 123 MLAs, but in this election, we managed to win 134 votes. This is an indication of unrest among the MLAs against the state government, "Fadnavis told reporters.

Speaking about how the BJP overcame the number crunch, the former chief minister said the BJP didn’t have a single vote for its fifth candidate in the MLC polls but managed to win that seat. "This became possible because of the support of all the independent MLAs and small parties," he said.

"Our fight against the MVA government is for the cause of the people." "The BJP managed to win with more votes than the votes polled by (two) candidates of Congress in the MLC polls," he added.

Author : Rajdhani Delhi Representative

Rajdhani delhi representative

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