Mumbai, Jun 14 (IANS): With 11 candidates vying for 10 seats, the upcoming June 20 biennial polls to the Maharashtra Legislative Council promise to be another 'thriller' on the lines of the just-concluded Rajya Sabha polls.
The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress have fielded two candidates each, while the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has named five nominees.
They are: Sachin Ahir, Amasha Padvi (Shiv Sena), Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar, Eknath Khadse (NCP), Bhai Jagtap, Chandrakant Handore (Congress), and BJP's Pravin Darekar, Prof Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bhartiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad.
The NCP on Monday withdrew its additional candidate Shivajirao Garje, while the BJP-back independent candidate and Rayat Krantikari Sanghatana leader Sadabhau Khot also opted out of the race, leaving 11 contestants in the fray.
Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis exuded confidence that akin to last week's Rajya Sabha elections, the BJP would secure victory for all its five MLC candidates.
In the RS polls, the BJP managed to grab 3 seats despite having insufficient numbers, dealing a shock political blow the MVA as the Sena's second candidate was trounced by 2 votes.
In the past couple of days, the MVA has held several autopsy meetings to ascertain its actual support among the independents and smaller parties and also to work out an effective strategy to avoid a similar discomfiture in the MLC polls that will be vide a secret ballot.
Certain independents and smaller parties, suspected to be culprits who allegedly reneged on their commitment to the MVA and favouring the BJP, are being wooed afresh by leaders of Sena-NCP-Congress to ensure their support for the 6 MLC seats the alliance is contesting.
The BJP leaders continued lampooning the MVA for its RS loss and reiterated that its (BJP's) victory run has begun and it would throw out the MVA government headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the 2024 assembly elections.