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BJP, Sena set to increase their Rajya Sabha tally from Maharashtra

Ruling allies BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra have a chance to wrest one seat each currently held by Opposition Congress and NCP in the next month’s biennial elections to six Rajya Sabha seats in the state given their present strength in the Assembly.

Biennial elections to 57 seats in the Upper House of Parliament will be held on June 11, the Election Commission said today. The elections were necessitated as 55 members from 15 states are retiring between June and August. One seat each from Rajasthan and Karnataka vacated by Anand Sharma (Congress) and Vijay Mallya(Independent) will also go for polls.

Six of these seats are in Maharashtra with two each held by Congress and NCP, and one each by BJP and Sena. The retiring Rajya Sabha MPs from the state are Ishwarlal Jain and Praful Patel (NCP), Vijay Darda and Avinash Pande (Congress), Union Minister Piyush Goyal (BJP) and Sanjay Raut (Sena).

The Rajya Sabha elections are now held Open Ballot wherein the Members of the Legislative Assembly (excluding the Nominated MLA) have to display the preference of voting to the party whip.

The number of votes required to win the elections is pegged at 42.

Given their current strength in the Assembly, it is highly unlikely either the Congress or the NCP will field more than one nominee. The Congress has 42 MLAs and the NCP 41.

Both the Congress and the NCP are not in a position to muster additional 84 votes to ensure victory for their second candidates. Hence, they will have to forgo the idea of fielding a second candidate.

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