Maharashtra politics have been witnessing tremors since the formation of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in late 2019. Since then, the news of rifts and verbal spats between the three parties of the government has been doing rounds. Additionally, the opposition led by Devendra Fadnavis has been relentlessly exposing all the corrupt and criminal deeds of the MVA. As several of its Ministers are in jail for serious criminal cases, the government has a tough task in the Rajya Sabha election. If the results come out to be other than on the expected lines, the rift may break the legs of the tripod government.
Rajya Sabha Election
The Rajya Sabha elections are up for today, 10th June. Around 57 seats of the upper house were at stake. On the last day to withdraw nominations, 41 members won their seats unopposed. But all eyes seem to be on the result of the RS seats from Maharashtra. As it is after two decades that RS elections are happening in the state. Earlier all RS seats were decided unopposed. This time seven contenders are fighting for six seats. BJP has fielded 3 candidates – Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Sukhdevrao Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.
While the ruling Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates, Congress and NCP have one candidate each. Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar are from SS. NCP and Congress have fielded Praful Patel and Imran Pratapgarhi respectively. The Maharashtra Assembly has a total of 288 seats with one seat vacant due to the demise of SS MLA Ramesh Latke. Further, Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh are behind bars for their ‘crimes’. Both of them tried to get bails from honourable courts to cast their votes in the RS election. But the court agreed with the arguments of ED that prisoners do not have voting rights which is a massive blow to the MVA government.
Mumbai Court rejects pleas of Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik seeking one-day bail to vote in Rajya Sabha polls
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) June 9, 2022
What’s the number game?
Since both the jailed NCP Ministers have been denied voting in the RS election, the total strength effectively is 285. So, every candidate needs 41 members to vote. According to the current strength, 5 seats will sail through easily. But the fight for the 6th seat is very close. As the MVA government claims to have a strength of 167 members it is 16 short to get through their 6th candidate. Further, all the candidates vote according to their conscience and do cross-voting bypassing party whips in the past. That is why the MVA government has been losing its sleep. It had locked all its MLAs in resort even though it is in power in the state.
The BJP has a current strength of 106 and it also claims to have support of 7 independent MLAs. So it needs 13 votes to sail its 3rd candidate Dhanajaya. Further, BJP has a reason to rejoice as its leader Devendra Fadnavis has recovered from COVID and would be able to vote. So the role of smaller parties and independents will be crucial as they have a combined strength of 29.
Rajya Sabha elections: A Domino effect?
The outcome of some events, determines the course of the future. Similarly, what seems to be a routine Rajya Sabha election may have a domino effect on the MVA. As we all know that the tripartite pact was agreed upon just for the lust of power. Previously, it had no ideological common ground. So, if the candidate of the NCP or MVA fails to win the 6th seat the rift will reappear. While the MVA has been shamelessly cohesive in ‘corruption’, this loss can definitely widen the fissures in the trio.
The result of this RS election will be testing waters for the coalition government in Maharashtra. Devendra Fadnavis has been peeling layers of crime and corruption done by the government. So, if the internal fight escalates further, they will start exposing each other’s crimes. This is not an unfounded thing as it has happened in the past. So, the upcoming times will be like a scary roller coaster ride.
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