Council elections expected to be smooth sailing

Jul 05, 2018, 08:16 IST | Dharmendra Jore

Tacit understanding among all parties to ensure July 16 polls are free of unsavoury incidents

Council elections expected to be smooth sailing
Devendra Fadnavis

With the BJP showing little interest in stretching its electoral ambitions too far, the July 16 polls for the 11 seats of the legislative council are expected to be without horse trading.

By Wednesday, 10 candidates were declared and the 11th, from the Peasants and Workers Party, was expected to file his nomination on Thursday. Sources said all parties were trying for a tacit understanding that the elections should be free of unsavoury contest and money power. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has taken a lead in this by announcing five candidates that his party can win with comfortably.

The previous elections to the upper house, too, were held in an amicable manner. After these elections, the BJP will replace NCP as the biggest party in the upper house. Such practices prevent cross-voting in exchange of favours, especially in the council's secret ballot.

Assembly members vote in these elections. And, based on their individual strengths, the parties decide on the numbers that they can win. However, polling would be necessitated if there are more than 11 candidates in the fray. The voting will be held in Nagpur during the ongoing monsoon session. The Congress has announced two candidates. The Shiv Sena, too, is keen on getting two members elected.

The NCP has fielded just one as per its arrangement with ally, Congress. This leaves a seat for PWP's Jayant Patil, who said he would file his nomination on Thursday, the last day of nominations. Patil is an outgoing member of the upper house. "I expect the elections to be unopposed," Patil told mid-day. All parties have created a social balance by nominating candidates from a cross section of society, with special emphasis on weaker sections and minorities.

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