Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Chief Minister and eight others were declared elected unopposed to the state Legislative Council on Thursday.
Apart from Thackeray, Council Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe (Shiv Sena), four candidates of BJP – Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil, Gopichand Padalkar, Praveen Datke and Ramesh Karad; NCP’s Shashikant Shinde and Amol Mitkari and Congress’s Rajesh Rathod were in the fray for the nine seats, which fell vacant on April 24. All of them were elected unopposed.
The result was officially announced on Thursday after the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended at 3 pm. The 288-member legislative assembly was the electoral college for the biennial elections to the nine seats.
With this election, 59-year-old Uddhav Thackeray, who is also the president of Shiv Sena, makes his debut as a legislator He was sworn in as chief minister on November 28 last year and required to become a member of either house of the legislature before May 27.
Thursday was the last date of withdrawal of nomination – and since no additional candidate was there, all nine candidates whose applications were found okay, were declared elected unopposed. Uddhav was sworn in as Maharashtra chief minister on 28 November, 2019, and then, he was neither an MLA or an MLC – and needed to get elected within six months’ time.
The Shiv Sena was planned for the April elections to Council but in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, all polls were postponed by Election Commission. The MVA government resolved to propose the name of Uddhav for the post of two vacant seats form governor’s quota to the Council.
There was a technical issue for Koshyari to take a call as the Representation of People Act, 1951, states that election or nomination to a vacant post cannot be done if the remainder term of the vacancy is less than one year.
The term of the two vacant seats in this case was to end on 6 June. In the crisis situation, Uddhav spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the issue. Thereafter, the Shiv Sena cited the emergency situation and requested governor to in impress upon ECI to conduct polls, that the latter agreed.