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Council EMLA poll: BJP gains control of Upper House

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
By Prashant Hamine

The moot question is whether BJP will share Dy Chairman post with Sena?

With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Prithviraj Deshmukh yesterday withdrawing from the poll fray for the July 16 biennial elections to 11 Elected by MLAs constituencies in Legislative Council, the 11 candidates in the fray have been declared elected “unopposed”. Those declared elected unopposed include: Vijay @ Bhai Girkar, Nilay Naik, Rashtriya Samaj Party (RSP) leader and Minister for Dairy Development Mahadev Jankar,  Ramesh Narayan Patil and Ram Patil Ratolikar (all BJP), Adv Anil Parab and Dr Manisha Kayande (both Shiv Sena), Sharad Ranpise and Mirza Wajahat Mirza Athar (both Congress), Abdullah Khan Abdullah Latif Khan @ Babajani Durrani (Nationalist Congress Party) and Jayant Patil ( PWP-I).

With this election results the BJP has gained numerical majority in the upper house. For the past four years, despite being in power in the state the BJP was in the minority in the upper house. The opposition NCP and Congress which were in the majority until now called the shots in the upper house frustrating the BJP’s moves to push through important official bills. After the EMLA constituency polls the latest party wise tally in the Upper House is as follows: BJP 21, Congress 17, NCP 17, Sena 12, Lok Bharti 1, PRP 1, PWP-I 1, Independents 6 and Vacant 2 in a house of 78 members.

As a result the combined tally of the ruling BJP-Sena alliance in the upper house after July 27 will be 40, whereas that of the Congress-NCP alliance will be 34. Taking that into account the BJP will stake claim to the post of Chairman which is currently held by NCP's Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar, as the tally of NCP and Congress has come down. The post of Deputy Chairman will fall vacant as incumbent Manikrao Thakare (Congress) term of membership will expire on July 27 and also that he was denied party ticket in this election. The revised numerical party wise strength will come into effect after July 27.

It now remains to be seen as to who the BJP nominates amongst its 21 MLCs for the Chairman's post. Sources disclosed that the frontrunner for the Chairman's post is most likely to be Vijay alias Bhai Girkar. For that to happen, the BJP will have to offer the Deputy Chairman's post to the Sena which, in a way, will also please the sulking alliance partner. Of the seniormost Sena members Adv Anil Parab and Dr Neelam Gorhe, the latter (Gorhe) is most likely to be the front runner for the deputy chairmans post. With Congress and NCP having equal number of members post July 27, it remains to be seen as to whether NCP's Dhananjay Munde is allowed to retain his Leader of Opposition post in the legislative council. It will also depend upon who the PWP, Lok Bharti, PRP and some Independents extend their support to, Munde or somebody else.

Out of the 11 MLCs elected from the EMLA constituencies, five are from BJP, two from Sena, two from Congress, one each from NCP and PWP-I. Out of these Vijay @ Bhai Girkar (BJP), Rashtriya Samaj Party (RSP/ BJP quota seat) leader and Minister for Dairy Development Mahadev Jankar, Adv Anil Parab (Sena),  Sharad Ranpise (Congress), Abdullah Khan Abdullah Latif Khan @ Babajani Durrani (NCP) and Jayant Patil (PWP-I) all have been re-elected to the Upper House. The new faces include: Nilay Naik, Ramesh Narayan Patil and Ram Patil Ratolikar (all BJP), Dr Manisha Kayande (Sena) and Mirza Wajahat Mirza Athar (Congress).

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