Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister
Prithviraj Chavan, set to enter the Legislative Council via a bye-election, will have to face a contest.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) was keen to
have an unopposed election, but the opposition Shiv Sena and
BJP are not in the mood to oblige.
BJP General Secretary Vinod Tawde today said that saffron
alliance would field a candidate against Chavan.
Chavan, earlier a union minister, was sent to Maharashtra
to replace Ashok Chavan, in the wake of Adarsh Society scam.
He is not a member of either house of state Legislature.
"Chavan`s election is a foregone conclusion given the
fact that the Congress and its allies enjoy majority in the
289-member Legislative assembly which is the electoral college
for the bye-election," MPCC General Secretary Sanjay Dutt
"But an unopposed election of the Chief Minister will
send a positive message to the people," Dutt said.
He denied that Congress feared cross-voting, as the
Council election is through secret ballot. "It is the
opposition which is splintered," Dutt said.
He said that Congress was ready for a contest if the
opposition fielded a candidate. Congress had 82 MLAs and NCP
62, which alone made up the required numbers, he said.
There are 24 independent MLAs, of which 21 support the
BJP has BJP 46 MLAs, Shiv Sena 45, PWP 4, Samajwadi Party
3, Jan Surajya Shakti Party 2, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 2; Bharipa
Bahujan Mahasangh, CPI(M), Lok Sangram, Rashtriya Samaj Party,
Swabhimani Party have one MLA each. One member is nominated by
Raj Thackeray-led MNS has 13 MLAs.