The elections for the 22 seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Council that will be falling vacant during April-July this year will present an interesting
scenario against the backdrop of the changed political equations in the state after the 2019 assembly polls. The opposition BJP currently dominates the 78-member Upper House.
After the assembly elections held in last October, the Shiv Sena fell out with its ally BJP and joined hands with the ideologically opposite NCP and Congress to form Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is currently not a member of either of the two Houses, is likely to take the Council route to become a member of the state legislature.
Of the total 22 seats, eight vacancies will be created in the MLA quota. Among others who will be retiring are 10 members who were appointed by the state governor, besides a member each from the Aurangabad Graduates, Nagpur Graduates, Amravati Teachers and Pune Teachers constituencies.
While the tenure of the eight members from the MLA quota is ending on April 24, 2020, the term of the 10 appointees from the governor quota will expire on June 6 and June 15. The four MLCs from the teachers and graduates constituencies will retire on July 19.
As per the party-wise break-up, eight MLCs of the NCP and six of the Congress will be retiring. The lone member of the Shiv Sena who will retire is deputy chairperson Neelam Gorhe. Similarly, the term of four MLCs- three from the MLA quota and one from the Nagpur graduates- from the BJP is
coming to end.
The members from the from Amravati teachers constituency whose tenure is coming to end are Jogendra Kavade of the Peoples Republican Party (PRP), and Srikant Deshpande (Independent) and Dattatraya Sawant (Independent) from the Pune Teachers constituency.
In the 288-member Legislative Assembly, the opposition BJP has a total of 105 MLAs. On the ruling side, the Sena has 56 MLAs, the NCP 54 and the Congress 44. According to political observers, the ruling parties will vie to win a chunk of the eight seats from the MLA quota by trying to enlist the support of smaller parties and Independents.
In the current Legislative Council, the BJP has the maximum 22 members, followed by the NCP (15), the Congress (13), the Shiv Sena (13). The Lok Bharti, the PWP and the RSP each has one member besides six Independents.