Mumbai: The ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra has finalised candidatures of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and senior leader Neelam Gorhe for the May 21 elections to the nine seats of the state Legislative Council, a party leader said on Monday.
Getting elected to either Houses of the state legislature is a Constitutional obligation for Thackeray, who is currently not an elected member. Failure to get elected by May 28, within six months of taking oath as CM, would have resulted into a Constitutional crisis for the Thackeray-led government, which was averted after the Election Commission announced elections to the nine seats in the Council.
"Thackeray and Gorhe will be the Sena candidates for two seats. We are also trying to make the election unopposed. Going by the current strength of the Sena and Mahavikas Aghadi, we can easily elect two candidates in the Upper house," another Sena leader said. Gorhe is the sitting deputy chairman of the Legislative Council.
Thackeray, who heads the Sena, will file his nomination in the next few days depending on the availability of time, he said. As per a notification issued by the Election Commission, the last date for filing of the nominations is May 11 and the date for withdrawal is May 14. With his election to the Council looks almost certain, Thackeray will become only the second member from his clan to become a legislator.
Thackeray's son and state Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray had made debut as an MLA in the assembly elections held in last year. This will be the fourth term as an MLC for Gorhe who is a deputy leader in the Sena hierarchy.
In the 288-member state Assembly, the BJP is the single largest party with 105 MLAs, followed by Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress each having 56, 54 and 44 members respectively. The Sena-headed Mahaavikas Aghadi government also comprises the NCP and the Congress.
Meanwhile, the BJP is learnt to be keen to get its four candidates elected as MLCs. The Opposition party claims to have support of another 15 small parties and independents. Former state minister and senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse has already expressed his wish to go to the legislative council.
The NCP and the Congress have so far not made any official comment on their probable nominees for the elections.