Mumbai: With Shiv Sena Friday deciding against fielding a candidate for the ensuing Maharashtra Legislative Council by-elections, the stage is set for the lone Congress candidate, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, to be elected unopposed.
In a statement announcing the party`s decision not to field a candidate, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said: "Prithviraj (Chavan), go, get elected unopposed!"
Making a sarcastic observation, Thackeray said that Chavan is least concerned about how many are dead or alive in Jaitapur, referring to the agitation in Ratnagiri district, where one man was killed in police firing on local residents protesting the proposed nuclear plant in the area.
The common man is fed up with the Congress rule in the state, he said, adding that the people in the state have lost interest in any elections, especially since "one Chavan comes and another goes" - referring to Prithviraj Chavan replacing Ashok Chavan, who was forced to quit in the wake of the Adarsh Society scam.
The Sena leader said that despite any assurance that Chavan may give to the people of the state, he is merely a "talking puppet" and all strings are pulled by the Congress high command in New Delhi.
"As the CM, he has no authority to take any decisions, Jaitapur is a glaring example. Decisions are taken in New Delhi, the state Congrss CM is merely a talking puppet," Thackeray said.
Chavan filed his nomination papers Thursday to contest for the polls, scheduled for May 4.
The last date for filing nominations is Saturday (April 23), but barring Chavan, there were no other candidates till Friday evening.
Chavan is not a member of either house of the state legislature and must get elected by May 11 - exactly six months (Nov 11) after he took over the reins of the state from Ashok Chavan.
He has filed his nomation for the seat vacated by senior party leader Sanjay Dutt last month.
In the 289 member assembly, which forms the electoral college, the Congress has 82 members and its ally, the Nationalist Congress Party has 62.