Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party’s Dhananjay Mahadik has won the sixth Rajya Sabha seat in Maharashtra after a second round of voting which began early on June 11. Shiv Sena legislator Sanjay Pawar lost the seat.
Seven candidates are in the fray for the six Rajya Sabha seats: BJP’s Union Minister Piyush Goyal, former minister Anil Bonde and former MP Mahadik. The ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition has fielded MPs Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar (both from the Shiv Sena), former Union minister Praful Patel (NCP) and Imran Pratapgarhi (Congress).
Five winning candidates were announced in the first round count: Praful Patel, Sanjay Raut, Imran Pratapgarhi, Bonday and Goyal.
The BJP’s Goyal and Bonde each got 48 votes, while the Congress counterpart received 44 votes. NCP’s Praful Patel and Sanjay Raut bagged 41 votes each.
“We had 169 votes in our kitty, but only 161 came our way, which made us lose the election. Of the 17 MLAs who voted for the BJP, nine are in our favor. Eight MLAs who were on our side went with them, ”Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai refused to name the eight MLAs who voted for the BJP.
“We have not received three votes from Hitendra Thakur’s Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), Sanjay Shinde (MLA, Karmala), Shyam Sunder Shinde (MLA, Morsi) and Devendra Bhuyar (MLA, Morsi),” Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said. Bhuyar and Sanjay Shinde have said they have voted for MVA candidates.
The vote count was held on Friday evening after all 285 MLAs voted to nominate their preferred candidate and the BJP and MVA traded allegations about the conduct of some MLAs in each camp.
The ECI noted the objections raised by the delegation of BJP leaders and the signatures of all three MVA’s constituents, Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP politicians.
The voting behavior of five MLAs, Jitendra Awhad (Nationalist Congress Party), Yashomati Thakur (Indian National Congress), Suhas Kande (Shiv Sena), and BJP’s Sudhir Mungantiwar and Independent MLA Ravi Rana were challenged.
Counting for several hours did not begin until after midnight. Finally, the ECI disqualified a vote by the Shiv Sena’s Suhas Kande, which reviewed video footage voted on by all five lawmakers.
The MVA has 150 members (excluding two Nationalist Congress party lawmakers Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, who are jailed on separate money-laundering charges). It needs at least 14 votes to win its fourth place. The BJP has 106 of its own legislators and needs 17 more votes to win its third seat.
The BJP could easily win two seats based on the number of seats in the assembly, while the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress could win one each. Competing for sixth place. For this, 29 legislators — 16 small parties and 13 independents — are crucial to the vote.
After the second round of counting (which takes into account the second preference votes), BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik got 41 votes, but Sanjay Pawar’s second preference votes were not counted because he had reached the quota to win the sixth seat.
How did the numbers come about?
In the first round, Mahadik received 27 votes. The 14 additional votes of the two BJP candidates who won (Goyal and Bonday; they were second choice) added to the number of Mahadik, increasing their number to 41, which was the bar necessary to win.
Pawar got 33 votes in the first round.
Desai, who was present during the counting, said: “The extra votes of Goyal and Bonde, who got 48 votes each, were transferred to Mahadik.
Former Secretary General of State Legislative Assembly Anantha Kalsay said the BJP has given its MLAs the maximum number of first preferential votes for the two candidates (Goyal and Bonday), which helped them to count the second preferential votes. “On the count, the candidate with the most extra votes will be considered before the second preferential votes.”
“Our winning streak has begun and it will continue,” said opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis shortly after the results were announced. “I convey our victory to two lawmakers, Laxman Jagatap and Mukta Tilak, who traveled in an ambulance to vote for us even though they were sick and in bed,” he said.
Jagatap and Tilak are BJP MLAs of Pune. Since they were both ill, they came to vote in the ambulance. Tilak was admitted to the Bombay Hospital when he arrived by road from Jagatap Pune.