Two candidates from each of the ruling coalition allies NCP and the Shiv Sena and four nominees from the opposition BJP nearly won elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) on Monday, an official said.
All eight candidates met the minimum quota of 26 votes each to reach the Senate of the state legislature, the official said. Legislative Council chairman and NCP candidate Ramraje Nimbalkar, BJP opposition leader Pravin Darekar and former BJP minister and now NCP nominee Eknath Khadse easily won enough first preference votes to secure victories.
The final vote will be announced when all counting rounds are over, the official said. Both candidates of the Shiv Sena – Sachin Ahir and Aamshya Padavi – also won the elections, while the two nominees of the congress, which is part of the ruling coalition MVA, failed to reach the minimum quota of the first preference vote.
The BJP had fielded five candidates — Darekar, Ram Shinde, Uma Khapre, Shrikant Bharatiya and Prasad Lad — of which the top four have already secured the minimum number of votes needed to win the poll.
Atul Bhatkhalkar, an MLA of the BJP said: “Darekar got 29 first preference votes, while Ram Shinde and Bharatiya got 30 first preference votes each. It means that our surplus votes from the top three candidates on the list will be transferred to our fifth candidate Prasad Lad.”
“If you count all the first preference votes for the BJP candidates, we won 133 votes. It means we won more votes than we got in the Rajya Sabha elections (held on June 10),” he said.
The BJP has 106 MLAs in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly while the remaining votes for its candidates come from independent MLAs, from minor parties or from other parties.
Voting for the 10 vacant MLC seats took place between 9am and 4pm at the Legislature Complex in south Mumbai. In total, there were eleven candidates – five from the BJP and two from the Sena, NCP and Congress. The counting of votes began after a two-hour delay around 7 p.m.