MLC polls in M’rashtra: Will Nawab Malik, Anil Deshmukh be allowed cast vote?

Mumbai (Maharashtra): After facing an embarrassment in the just-concluded Rajya Sabha polls, the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is strategising hard for the upcoming June 20 biennial polls to the Maharashtra Legislative Council. In the RS polls, the BJP managed to grab three seats despite having insufficient numbers, dealing a political blow to the MVA as Sena`s second candidate was trounced by merely two votes. With 11 candidates vying for 10 seats, the MVA allies Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress have fielded two candidates each, while the Opposition BJP has named five nominees.

The MVA is counting on each vote, the reason, the alliance eyeing the  Bombay High Court, which on Thursday reserved its order on the pleas of Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik and former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh for permission to cast their votes for the MLC polls on June 20. The court will pronounce the order on Friday at 2.30 pm. 

Earlier, a special PMLA court in Mumbai rejected the pleas filed by Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh seeking a day`s bail to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL), however, has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Maharashtra government to sack Nawab Malik, who is presently in judicial custody in connection with the case of money laundering.

Deshmukh and Malik are currently lodged in jail in connection with different money laundering cases being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Deshmukh was arrested on November 1, 2021, in connection with extortion and money laundering allegations levelled against him by the former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. Nawab Malil was arrested by the ED on February 23 over a property deal allegedly linked to the aides of gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

It may be noted that the ruling MVA allies Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have fielded two candidates each, while the BJP has named five nominees for the 10 MLC seats. The candidates are Sachin Ahir, Amasha Padvi (Shiv Sena), Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar, Eknath Khadse (NCP), Bhai Jagtap, Chandrakant Handore (Congress), while BJP has fielded Pravin Darekar, Prof Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bhartiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad.

The MVA has reportedly held several autopsy meetings to ascertain its actual support among the independents and smaller parties and also to work out an effective strategy to avoid a similar discomfiture in the MLC polls that will be vide a secret ballot. Certain independents and smaller parties, suspected to be culprits who allegedly reneged on their commitment to the MVA and favouring the BJP, are being wooed afresh by leaders of Sena-NCP-Congress to ensure their support for the 6 MLC seats the alliance is contesting.

Earlier on Monday, the NCP withdrew its additional candidate Shivajirao Garje. The BJP-back independent candidate and Rayat Krantikari Sanghatana leader Sadabhau Khot also opted out of the race, leaving 11 contestants in the fray. Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis reportedly said the BJP would secure victory for all its five MLC candidates, citing the party’s recent win in the Rajya Sabha elections.

In the Rajya Sabha polls, the BJP managed to win three seats despite having insufficient numbers, dealing a shocking political blow to the MVA as Sena`s second candidate was trounced by merely two votes. The BJP leaders continued lampooning the MVA for its RS loss and reiterated that the victory run has begun and it would throw out the MVA government in the 2024 assembly elections.

(With ANI/IANS Inputs)

Atul Tiwari

Atul Tiwari

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.