The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is all set to make legislative council polls interesting, at the cost of the sentiments of loyalists in the party while choosing candidates imported from other outfits. As a result, a senior party member, Manoj Kotak, has rebelled and filed his nomination as an independent.

Senior member Manoj Kotak has filed his nomination as an independent (right) Instead of Kotak, the BJP chose its latest import from the NCP, Prasad Lad
Senior member Manoj Kotak has filed his nomination as an independent (right) Instead of Kotak, the BJP chose its latest import from the NCP, Prasad Lad

On Tuesday, the last day of filing nominations there were 12 candidates, two more than the seats available for contesting, in the fray. Voting will be held on June 10 if two of 12 candidates don’t withdraw or in case any two nominations get scrapped in scrutiny.

The members of the Legislative Assembly will vote in the polls. The BJP can win five seats of the 10 if the votes are distributed wisely. It has its 123 members in the Assembly and enjoys support of independents and other parties in the house of 288 members. A candidate who gets a quota of 27 votes is declared winner in the Legislative Council polls.

The Congress has fielded one candidate (Narayan Rane), the NCP two (Ramaraje Nimbalkar and Dhananjay Munde) and the Shiv Sena two (ministers Diwakar Raote and Subhash Desai). The BJP has Sadabhau Khot (ally Swambhimani Shetkari Sanghtana), Vinayak Mete (ally Shiv Sangram), Surjitsingh Thakur, Pravin Darekar, Prasad Lad and R N Singh. Lad and Singh’s names were declared on the last day of filing nominations.

Of BJP nominees, Thakur is the only worker who has come up BJP’s organisational ladder. Singh has had an association with the Congress and Shiv Sena and not many in the BJP’s north Indian camp are happy with his nomination.

Horse-trading on the cards
If more than 10 candidates remain in the race, horse-trading is expected to take place. Some candidates are filthy rich and can use money power to scrape through. The voting is held in a secret ballot, which facilitates cross-voting.

Little wonder then that the BJP faces rebellion from Manoj Kotak, one of its Mumbai leaders, who filed his papers after being denied official candidature despite the fact that he was asked to withdraw from the Legislative Council polls of the BMC constituency early this year.

Instead of Kotak, BJP’s latest import from the NCP, Prasad Lad was preferred. Lad too, had contested the BMC constituency early this year and given a Congress nominee Bhai Jagtap, a run for his money. He was supported tacitly by the BJP by withdrawing Kotak, and the NCP, which wanted the Congress nominee defeated. But Jagtap won with a slender margin.