Mumbai: As anticipated the unity among the ruling Maha Vikas Agadi is fizzling out. This was evident from the way it managed to win the third crucial seat in the Rajya Sabha polls last week and now in the MLC, the fifth seat.
All the three coalition partners – Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress fielded two each. This time around two candidates each of Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party, won including that of Eknath Khadse of the NCP. He sailed through, but their partner Congress suffered a jolt as it managed to bag just one seat. In the RS polls it was Shiv Sena, whose second candidate lost the race.
All the eight candidates secured the minimum quota of 26 votes each to make it to the Upper House of the state legislature, said the official.
Chairman of Legislative Council and NCP candidate Ramraje Nimbalkar, Leader of Opposition in the Upper House Pravin Darekar of the BJP and former BJP minister and now NCP nominee Eknath Khadse easily bagged sufficient number of first preference votes to post wins.
The final vote tally will be announced when all the rounds of counting is over, the official said.
Both the candidates of the Shiv Sena — Sachin Ahir and Aamshya Padavi – also won the election, while the two nominees of the Congress, which is part of the ruling coalition MVA, failed to secure the minimum quota of the first preference vote.
The BJP had fielded five candidates – Darekar, Ram Shinde, Uma Khapre, Shrikant Bharatiya and Prasad Lad – of which the first four have already bagged the minimum quota of votes required to win the poll.
BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar said, “Darekar secured 29 votes of first preference, while Ram Shinde and Bharatiya secured 30 votes of first preference each. It means, our excess votes of top three candidates on the list will be transferred to our fifth candidate Prasad Lad.”
“If you count all the votes of first preference to the BJP candidates, we have won 133 votes. It means, we have won more votes than we secured in the Rajya Sabha elections (held on June 10),” he said. The BJP has 106 MLAs in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, while remaining votes for its candidates have either come from independent MLAs, or those from small parties or from other parties.
Voting for the elections to 10 vacant MLC seats was held between 9 am and 4 pm at the Legislature Complex in south Mumbai. In all, 11 candidates – five of the BJP and two each of the Sena, the NCP and the Congress were in the fray.
The counting of votes began after a two-hour delay at around 7 pm.