Mumbai: Voting for the 10 seats of the
Maharashtra Legislative Council became imminent on Monday with two
Independents jumping into the fray.
Kanhaiyalal Gidwani and Vijay Sawant of Congress
today filed their nomination papers as Independents and thus
there will now be 12 candidates fighting for 10 seats.
Three candidates each of Congress and NCP, and two each of
BJP and Sena have already filed their papers. The process of
filing of nominations ended today.
Earlier, there were indications that with 10
candidates filing nominations for the 10 seats, there would
be no need for elections.
Both Gidwani and Sawant today claimed that they have
support of the Independents and smaller parties.
Despite Chief Minister Ashok Chavan taking a
cautious stand of fielding only three candidates, there was
pressure on him to ensure that the NCP does not wean away the
additional votes from the 288 elected members of the
Legislative Assembly, which forms the electoral college for the
biennial elections. That led the party deciding to field
Gidwani and Sawant as Independents.
Chavan told reporters that no
party had the required votes to get an additional candidate
elected. The quota for first preference votes for a candidate
to get elected in the first round is 27.
Chavan said the party will have only three official
candidates. "We will take a decision to whom we should
transfer our additional votes later," he said.