Mumbai: On the eve of the by-polls for the
lone Rajya Sabha seat from Maharashtra, the ruling
Congress-NCP held closed door meetings of its MLAs, who form
the electoral college in the direct contest between Hussain
Dalwai (Congress) and Surendra Mane (BJP).
This will be for the first time since election to Rajya
Sabha was made through open ballot, that an election will be
held in the state.
The by-election has been necessitated because of the
resignation of Prithviraj Chavan as MP in April this year.
Chavan, who was Minister of State in the Prime Minister`s
Office (PMO), was a two-time Rajya Sabha member before being
asked to take charge as Maharashtra Chief Minister in November
Chavan and his deputy Ajit Pawar addressed separate
meetings of their party legislators and supporting independent
MLAs and later in the evening met for a dinner meeting of the
Democratic Front (DF) coalition comprising 82 MLAs from the
Congress, 62 NCP, and 24 independents and from other smaller
Two observers will be appointed by both the Congress and
NCP with whom every MLA will have to record his vote and
display his voting slip to the observers before inserting it
into the ballot box.
If the vote is not according to the whip issued by the
respective party, the whip will inform the returning officer,
who in turn will keep the voter slip in a separate box.