MUMBAI (Maharashtra) [India], June 21 (ANI): After suspected cross-voting in Maharashtra MLC elections, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has called an urgent meeting of all Shiv Sena MLAs on Tuesday. According to sources, all MLAs have been strictly asked to remain present in the meeting. Meanwhile, Bal Thackeray loyalist Eknath Shinde will be addressing a press conference in Surat today noon. Maha Vikas Aghadi candidate from Congress Chandrakant Handore had lost in the MLS polls.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged five seats, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena won two each while Congress was able to clinch one seat out of the total 10 seats in Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) that went to polls on Monday. Taking to Twitter, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said, "Maharashtra Vidhan Parishad election results - Shiv Sena (Mafia Sena) got 52 votes. 12 MLA's revolted (55 Shiv Sena + 9 supporters = 64) Uddhav Thackeray's Mafia Sarkar's count down started."
As many as eleven candidates were in the fray for the elections to the ten seats in the MLC. All the five candidates of the BJP -- Pravin Darekar, Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bharatiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad emerged victorious. NCP candidates-- Ramraje Nimbalkar and Eknath Khadse-- and the Shiv Sena nominees- Aamshya Padavi and Sachin Ahir also secured their seats. Of the two candidates fielded by Congress, Bhai Jagtap secured the win while Chandrakant Handore lost.
BJP's winning candidate claimed that cross-voting happened among members of Shiv Sena and Congress. "We are very happy. Maharashtra has shown faith in the BJP. Cross-voting happened among members of Shiv Sena and Congress. Otherwise, we would not have received so many votes. BJP will get more victory and received 134 votes," said BJP leader Pravin Darekar.
He further said that independent MLAs have shown their dissatisfaction with the state government. "We got 134 votes and this is the answer to all those who questioned what Devendra Fadnavis can do? Devendra Fadnavis is the only leader who can lead, which all the three parties could not do. Devendra has done it, the government cannot do anything and dissatisfaction has been shown against the government, independent MLAs have shown their dissatisfaction against the state government. We have proved this in the poll result," he said.
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had pointed out that Handore was lost due to "internal sabotage".
"It is really unfortunate that a Dalit candidate Chandrakant Handore who was supposed to get first preference votes of Congress MLAs lost to the second preference candidate of the Congress party. It is nothing but internal sabotage. My sympathy is with Handore," he said in a tweet. BJP general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh had said that his party has 106 MLAs in Assembly and it has received 133 votes.
"Maharashtra Council Polls: Shiv Sena-MLAs in Assembly: 56, Votes received: 52; NCP- MLAs in Assembly: 53, Votes received: 57; Congress- MLAs in Assembly: 44, Votes received: 41; BJP- MLAs in Assembly: 106, Votes received: 133," he tweeted. He further took a dig at Congress and said, "Even in defeat, Congress exhibits its true colours. Its moneybag candidate Bhai Jagtap poaches party votes to defeat a Dalit leader from party Chandrakant Handore. Old habits die hard."
The Members of the Assembly voted in the legislative Council elections at Vidhan Bhawan in Mumbai on Monday. The BJP has 106 MLAs, Shiv Sena 56, NCP 53 and Congress has 44 MLAs. A total of 285 members cast their votes in the MLC polls. Former Home Ministers Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, who are in judicial custody in money-laundering cases were not allowed to vote.