Updated: December 5, 2020 2:32:33 AM
Maharashtra’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), an alliance of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, has won four of the six Maharashtra Legislative Council seats voted on December 1.
Elections were held for three graduate seats: Nagpur, Pune and Aurangabad; two teacher chairs from Pune and Amravati; and a local body seat from Dhule-Nandurbar.
These were the first state-level elections after the MVA formed the government, leaving the BJP, the largest party in the Legislative Assembly, out of power. The MVA’s victories are also significant because each of these Council seats represents voters in a wide geographic area of the state.
Seats and voters
The Maharashtra Senate Legislature has 78 members, 66 of whom have been elected and the rest nominated. The members are elected for a term of six years.
Of the 66 elected members in the Council, 30 are elected by members of the Legislative Assembly; 22 are chosen by local bodies from 21 divisions; and seven members are each selected from graduates and teachers from the seven income divisions of the state – Mumbai, Amravati, Nashik, Aurangabad, Konkan, Nagpur and Pune.
Only those who have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university are eligible to participate in the election for the graduate seats.
Voters are reregistered for each election and candidates must provide proof of education with a bachelor’s degree to enroll as a voter.
The elected member is expected to raise the issue of the educated class in the Senate.
Of the seven graduate constituencies on the Council, the BJP, NCP and Congress now have two members each, and the Shiv Sena has one.
For teacher constituencies, professional teachers, whether employed by the government or in the private sector, are eligible to self-register as voters. Teacher voters choose one themselves to raise their issues in the Legislative Council.
The Sena, NCP, Congress, BJP, Lok Bharati (LB), Peasants and Workers’ Party (PWP) of India and an independent candidate now each have a seat in the teacher constituencies on the Council.
For VAT, justification
This was the first election in which the Sena, NCP and Congress forged an alliance before the election with the aim of consolidating their power in the state. The three sides see the victories as an indication of the people’s acceptance of their alliance. Senior NCP leaders have said the alliance has managed to tailor the BJP.
After Friday’s screening, the MVA would like to have a pre-poll alliance for all elections in the state. Maharashtra is scheduled to conduct local body polls early next year. “I will hold talks with the leaders of the three alliance partners to implement the same pre-poll strategy for all upcoming polls,” said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
A big setback for BJP
The results of the Council elections are a blow to the BJP. Failure to preserve Nagpur’s bastion and Pune’s graduate constituency will hurt the party the most, while piquing the hopes of its rivals. 📣 Follow Express Explained on Telegram
The seat of Nagpur was represented in the past by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Gangadhar Fadnavis, father of former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. On Friday, Fadnavis admitted that the results of the election fell short of the BJP’s expectations and that the party had failed to correctly assess the combined strength of the three ruling parties.
The winners and losers
The Congress, which was in decline in the Nagpur region, has won the seat of Nagpur after decades. Congress’s Abhijit Wanjarri defeated Sandip Joshi of the BJP, a close confidant of Fadnavis.
The Pune headquarters had been represented twice before by BJP chief Chandrakant Patil. On Friday, Arun Lad of the NCP beat Sangram Deshmukh of the BJP by a huge margin.
The NCP’s Satish Chavan retained the seat of Aurangabad, comfortably defeating the BJP candidate, Shirish Boralkar.
Former Congress MLC Ambrish Patel, who fought with a BJP ticket for the election, won the Dhule-Nandurbar seat, while independent candidate Kiran Sarnaik won the Amravati division’s teachers seat.
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