Biennial election to 11 Maha Legislative Council seats slated for July 12; MahaYuti, MVA strive to avoid cross-voting

Mumbai, June 18 (IANS) The Election Commission on Tuesday announced that the biennial elections for the 11 seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council will be held on July 12, and votes will be counted the same day.

The MahaYuti and Maha Vikas Aghadi will be pitted against each other in the election after the recent showdown between the two in the Lok Sabha elections.

The election is also expected to test the loyalty of a number of MLAs from MahaYuti and MVA in the run-up to the state assembly elections slated for September-October. More importantly, following its less-than-optimal performance in the Lok Sabha elections, the MahaYuti faces an acid test to put its flock of MLAs intact to avoid cross-voting.

The election was necessitated as the terms of 11 members of the Legislative Council elected by the members of the Assembly will expire on July 27. The MLCs whose terms are ending are Manisha Kayande, Vijay Girkar, Abdullah Khan A. Durrani, Nilay Naik, Anil Parab, Ramesh Patil, Ramrao Patil, Dr Wajahat Mirza, Pradnya Sarav, Mahadev Jankar, and Jayant Patil.

While the last day for filing the nominations is July 2, the scrutiny of nominations will take place on July 3, and July 5 is the deadline for withdrawal of candidatures.

According to the information sourced from the state legislature, 14 Assembly seats are vacant – 10 due to the resignation of sitting members and four seats due to the death of sitting MLAs.

As a result, 274 members of the 288-strong Assembly will vote in the elections. In view of this, the quota of first preference votes comes to 23 votes.

As the voting is by secret ballot, both the MahaYuti and the MVA are taking due care to avoid cross-voting. Sources said the MahaYuti, with its present strength, can win 9 seats – 5 for the BJP, and two each by the Shiv Sena and the NCP. Of the remaining two seats, the Congress can get one seat while the MVA together can grab the other.

–IANS

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