New Delhi: With aspirants galore, Congress
leadership grappled with the issue of nominations for the
Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council elections from
Maharashtra at a marathon meeting today.
Senior leaders A K Antony and Ahmad Patel held parleys
with Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and PCC chief
Manikrao Thakre ahead of the elections to the six Rajya Sabha
and 10 Legislative Council seats scheduled for next month.
Chavan also had a meeting with Congress President Sonia
Gandhi before the parleys began.
A section of the party is wanting that there should be
contest for the elections in order to make inroads in the Shiv
Sena-BJP votes as it feels the opposition was not united.
There have been reports that moves were afoot between the
Maharashtra Congress and the Shiv Sena-BJP to ensure that
there is no contest for the elections as there is a belief
that major political parties can ensure victory of their
candidates without a fight.
Congress sources said the party has received 24
applications for the Rajya Sabha and 129 for the Legislative
The ruling Congress-NCP combine has 144 MLAs (Congress 82
and NCP 62) in the assembly and enjoys the support of a
majority of 24 Independents. The saffron alliance`s strength
is 91 (BJP 46 and Shiv Sena 45).
While 42 first preference votes are required by a
candidate for a straight win in the Rajya Sabha poll, 27 votes
will see an aspirant through without any hindrance in the
elections to the legislative council.
Both Congress-NCP coalition and BJP-Sena combine can
secure easy victory for three and two candidates respectively
in the Rajya Sabha poll.
Congress-NCP combination, with support from majority of
Independents, can easily secure six council seats and Sena-BJP
can bag three without a problem.