Shiv Sena makes MLAs sit in Mumbai hotel to avoid poaching ahead of Rajya Sabha elections

Mumbai: The ruling Shiv Sena has decided to shift its MLAs from a resort in suburban Malad to a five-star hotel in south Mumbai as part of a strategy to check poaching ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. A senior party leader told PTI on Tuesday that all Shiv Sena MLAs have been called to Mumbai where they will stay together till the June 10 elections.

“We were at ‘The Retreat’ (in North West Mumbai’s Mud Island) and all our ministers were also there. It was part of our strategy. We will go to the hotel ‘The Trident’ (in South Mumbai) today.” PTI quoted Shiv Sena MLA and party spokesperson Sunil Prabhu as saying. Trident is just a short distance from the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly where voting will be held for six Rajya Sabha seats.

Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs in the 288-member house (one MLA died of a heart attack last month). Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Monday reportedly met party MLAs as well as others supporting it.

After more than two decades, Rajya Sabha elections will be held in the state as seven candidates are in the fray for six seats. Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar, while BJP has fielded Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.

NCP (Praful Patel) and Congress (Imran Pratapgarhi) have fielded one candidate each. The contest on the sixth seat is between Pawar and Mahadik.

Given its strength in the assembly, the BJP has enough votes to win two seats, while the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress may win one seat each.

Shiv Sena (55), NCP (52) and Congress (44) – all constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi – have enough votes to ensure victory for the second Shiv Sena candidate. Two NCP MLAs – Anil Deshmukh and minister Nawab Malik – are currently in jail, while one seat in the 288-member house is lying vacant.

Apart from the four main parties, the assembly has 25 MLAs from smaller parties and independents. The Shiv Sena decided to drive away its MLAs after accusing the opposition BJP of “horse-trading” and using central agencies to put pressure on independent legislators.

Owaisi claims no one from MVA approached AIMIM for RS election support

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi has claimed that no member of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in Maharashtra has approached him for support in the upcoming elections for the state’s six Rajya Sabha seats. “If they want our support, they should approach us,” Owaisi told reporters in Nanded.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has two members in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, which forms the electoral college for the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections.

Notably, after more than two decades, Rajya Sabha elections will be held in the state as seven candidates are in the fray for six seats.

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