Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is set to enter the Legislative Council unopposed as the Congress on Sunday announced that it would withdraw one of its two nominees for the May 21 elections to nine seats.
State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said, "We have decided to field only one out of two nominees for the MLC elections, which means the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) will have five nominees for as many seats (out of the total nine)".
The announcement came hours after senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said Thackeray has conveyed the polls should be "unopposed" so that he can dedicate most of his time to the ongoing fight against coronavirus.
Thackeray, who is not a member of either Houses of the state legislature, is one of the nominees for the elections, which became necessary after terms of the sitting MLCs ended on April 24.
Later in the evening, Raut wrote on Twitter that he is grateful to Thorat and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan for their decision to remove one candidate from the election in the wake of the virus crisis in the state.
महाराष्ट्र विधान परिषद की 9 सीटों के लिए चुनाव बिनविरोध होगा। राज्य में कोरोना संकट और मुख्यमंत्री उद्धव ठाकरे की उम्मीदवारी को ध्यान में रखकर कॉंग्रेस पार्टी ने एक उम्मीदवार हटा लेने का फैसला किया है। मैं प्रदेशाध्यक्ष मा. बाळासाहेब थोरात व मा. अशोक चव्हाण का आभारी हूँ।— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) May 10, 2020
On Saturday evening, Thorat had tweeted that Rajkishore alias Papa Modi will be party's second candidate besides Rajesh Rathod, a Jalna zilla parishad member whose name was announced from Delhi, adding that he was confident both will win.
As the Congress had earlier decided to field only one candidate for the May 21 elections, there were nine candidates in the fray for as many seats.
The Shiv Sena and NCP, other two ruling alliance partners, have so far announced two candidates each, while the opposition BJP has announced four candidates.
(With inputs from PTI)