BJP wins five MLC seats in Maharashtra

The BJP has won five seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls while the Shiv Sena and the NCP have won two each. Congress has clinched one seat.

All five candidates of the BJP – Shrikant Bharti, Praveen Darekar, Uma Khapre, Ram Shinde and Prasad Lad have won the elections.

From Shiv Sena, Sachin Ahir and Amshya Padvi have won while Eknath Khadse and Ramraje Nimbalkar won from Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party. Chandrakant Handore won from Congress.

Voting for the elections to 10 vacant MLC seats was held between 9 am and 4 pm at the Legislature Complex in south Mumbai. In all, 11 candidates are in the fray – five of the BJP and two each of the Maha Vikas Aghadi allies, the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress. All 285 eligible MLAs took part in the voting process.

Earlier, the Election Commission of India (ECI) rejected an objection raised by the Congress over the votes cast by two ailing MLAs of the opposition BJP.

The counting, scheduled to start at 5 pm after end of the day-long polling, was put on hold after the Congress raised an objection over the voting by ailing BJP legislators Mukta Tilak and Laxman Jagtap with the help of assistants.

The party had submitted a complaint to poll officials.

Both the legislators have been unwell for a long time and the BJP had sought permission from the ECI to allow them to cast their votes with the help of assistants.

Senior Congress leader and Maharashtra minister Ashok Chavan said the two BJP legislators – Tilak and Jagtap – signed on the ECI’s register.

“If they could sign on the register, there was no need for an assistant to be with them to fill in the preferential ballot paper during the election,” he said.

However, an official said the ECI rejected the objection raised by the Congress, which has fielded two candidates for the biennial polls to the Upper House of the state legislature.

(With PTI inputs)

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Roy Walsh

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