Legislative Council polls: Long wait for Narayan Rane as Cong backs Bhai Jagtap

Congress and Shiv Sena have fielded sitting MLCs Bhai Jagtap and Ramdas Kadam while BJP has nominated BMC corporator Manoj Kotak

With three major candidates in the fray, the Legislative Council elections to the two seats in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are expected to be hotly contested.

Bhai Jagtap from Congress, Sena’s Ramdas Kadam and Manoj Kotak of BJP. File pics
Bhai Jagtap from Congress, Sena’s Ramdas Kadam and Manoj Kotak of BJP. File pics

The elections will be held on December 28 for which the Congress and the Shiv Sena have fielded sitting MLCs Bhai Jagtap and Ramdas Kadam. The Bharatiya Janata Party has made the contest interesting by nominating BMC corporator Manoj Kotak.

Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane, who was one of the hot favourites for the Congress nomination, will have to wait till July when some seats in the legislative council fall vacant. The members of the legislative assembly will vote in the July elections.

The Sena preferred Kadam, a senior minister in the state government. The BJP chose Kotak because of his prolonged tenure in the BMC and his capacity to garner votes from other parties and independents.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and city BJP president Ashish Shelar, who want to beat the Congress in Mumbai, support him. Six years ago, the BJP’s Madhu Chavan had lost the election.

BMC’s 227 corporators will vote in the elections. While the Sena, with its own strength and supporters is expected to find the going smooth, the Congress and BJP will be locked in a fierce tussle for getting their respective candidates elected. The Sena-BJP and the Congress-NCP are together in Mumbai and seven other places where the legislative council polls will be held.

MNS a big factor
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) will decide the outcome of these polls with its 28 votes. The BJP, with 32 corporators, will need the MNS help to win.

Cross-voting
Since Legislative polls are held in secret ballot, a possibility of cross-voting is not denied. Parties resort to various ways of ensuring proper voting by the party’s registered voters (here corporators). The secret ballot proves to be a boon for candidates who use lucrative means to ensure votes for them, and their first targets are independents and small parties.

Preferential votes
In preferential polling, candidates are given a quota of votes —1st, 2nd, etc. — as per the total strength of the electoral college. In Mumbai, a winning candidate will need 76 first preference votes to win in the first round, and in the present situation, only the Sena has that much own strength in the 227-member house.

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