On Monday, June 20, Maharashtra Legislative Council elections were held for 10 seats. The BJP won the five seats where it fielded its candidate indicating another case of cross-voting.
After the results were released, a number of Shiv Sena ministers and MPs were found to be untraceable, leaving the MVA baffled.
MLC elections are held, for the upper house of state assembly, in states that have bicameral legislatures.
According to the current assembly membership, the BJP has 106 while the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have 55, 52 and 44 MPs respectively. The other parties and the independents have 25 deputies.
Cross vote in favor of the BJP
The BJP had enough numbers to win four seats in the MLC elections. For the fifth seat, 22 additional votes were needed to seal the deal. MVA, which fielded six candidates, two each from three alliance partners, was well positioned to win all six seats.
According to reports, the BJP secured 26 votes from outside the party, which also helped it win the fifth seat.
Not only did independents vote for the BJP candidate, but some Shiv Sena MPs and ministers also appear to have shifted their votes to the opposition party.
Shiv Sena led MVA on the toes
Once the election results were announced, the Shiv Sena sounded the alarm, suspecting attempts to overthrow the government.
Eknath Shinde, a senior Shiv Sena official, went missing in action, as did 10 to 12 Shiv Sena deputies considered close to him. It was reported that they are staying in a hotel in Surat under tight security.
All alliance partners called on their MPs to meet as rumors that the government would lose a majority gathered pace.
Fadnavis’ long game
Leader of the opposition and former CM of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis has also won several times in the past in realpolitik contests.
He was seen to be vocal and direct in communicating on Hindutva issues, unlike the Shiv Sena, who continue to lose steam on this front.
Fadnavis was also determined to bring governance issues and allegations of corruption among key MVA government leaders, including Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, closer to their logical conclusions.
In recent Rajya Sabha polls too, it was under his leadership that the BJP’s Maharashtra unit ensured that its candidates won their seats, even when the numbers were not in favor of the party.
In the Goa elections held in 2022, Fadnavis, who was responsible for the BJP elections in Goa, led the talks to forge an alliance between the BJP and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the pre-election alliance partner of TMC, to form the government in the state. .
Back-to-back instances of MVA MPs voting for BJP candidates appear to have rattled the state government. With Shiv Sena MPs having deserted the party at crucial times, it is well established that the direction Sena has taken to stay in power does not have many takers within the party.
Fadnavis, on the other hand, proved his caliber by staying the course as a credible opposition.
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