Maharashtra Council polls: MVA faces its first real test


Biennial elections to three graduates’ and two teachers’ constituency of Maharashtra Legislative Council on December 1 will be the first real electoral test of the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government against the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Election Commission had announced the polls to the five Council seats, which became vacant on July 19, in the first week of November. The last date for filing of nominations was November 12, while the last date of withdrawal of applications is November 17.

Of the five, two MLCs from the teachers’ constituencies were Independents — Shrikant Deshpande (Amaravati), and Dattratray Sawant (Pune). Of the three MLCs from graduates’ constituencies, two were from BJP — Chandrakant Patil (Pune) and Anil Sole (Nagpur) — while Satish Chavan (Aurangabad) was from the NCP. Elections could not be held earlier due to the lockdown in place following outbreak of COVID-19.

The BJP has named candidates for four seats. It has fielded Shirish Boralkar, Sangram Deshmukh and Sandip Joshi on the Aurangabad, Pune and Nagpur graduates’ constituencies respectively, and Nitin Dhande from Amaravati teachers’ constituency.

The MVA has named Abhijit Wanjari of Congress from Nagpur graduates’ seat and Jayant Asgaonkar, also of Congress, from Pune teachers’ constituency. Satish Chavan and Arun Lad, of NCP have been fielded from Aurangabad and Pune graduates’ constituencies respectively. The MVA has extended support to Shrikant Deshpande from Amaravti teachers’ constituency. “We are going to win this election. I am sure that MVA will come out stronger,” said NCP State president Jayant Patil.

This will be the first test of the MVA government since it took oath last year on November 28. The BJP has said that it would win the election sending a clear message to the tripartite government.

Meanwhile, the government has submitted a list of 12 names to be approved by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for appointment to the Council. The names, recommended by the Cabinet, were forwarded last week and Mr. Koshyari is yet to clear them.

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