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Poll for six Maharashtra MLC seats on Saturday; NCP aims to hurt Cong

New Delhi: The biennial election for six seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Council from as many local bodies will be held on Friday, wherein NCP is backing Shiv Sena and BJP on two seats, apparently to queer the pitch for its estranged ally, Congress.

The tenure of six seats up for grabs ends on December 5.NCP is holding Sangli-Satara, Yavatmal, Bhandara-Gondia and Pune seats, while Congress Nanded, and BJP Jalgaon. Congress and NCP are contesting the elections separately. While NCP has withdrawn its candidate in Yavatmal and extended support to Shiv Sena, Congress has fielded candidates in Nanded, Sangli-Satara, Yavatmal, Bhandara-Gondia and Pune.

The Sharad Pawar-led party is contesting Sangli-Satara, Pune, and Bhandara-Gondia seats and is supporting independent candidate Shyamsunder Shinde in Nanded, and nominees of Sena and BJP in Yavatmal and Jalgaon, respectively. While BJP has fielded its nominees in Jalgaon, Bhandara-Gondia, and Pune, Sena’s candidate is in fray in Yavatmal. There are 688 voters in Pune, 440 in Yavatmal, 472 in Nanded, 570 in Satara-Sangli, 550 in Jalgaon, and 393 in Bhandara-Gondia.

The six candidates will be elected from the local governing bodies where the elected corporators of municipal corporations and councils will vote. The elected members will have a tenure of six years.

In the 78-member House, BJP has 16 MLCs, Congress (19), NCP (26), Shiv Sena (8), Lok Bharti Party (1), PWP (1), PRP (1) and independents (6). In Nanded, sitting Congress MLC Amar Rajurkar is pitted against Shyam Sunder Shinde (Independent). In Sangli-Satara, Mohan Kadam of Congress is taking on Shekhar Gore of NCP.

Yavatmal will see a direct contest between Shankar Bade of Congress and Jaywant Sawant of Sena. Sitting MLC Sandeep Bajoria (Independent with NCP’s backing) has announced withdrawal from race after last date of withdrawal of nominations. A triangular contest is on cards in Pune among Anil Bhosale (NCP), Ashok Yenpure (BJP), and Sanjay Jagtap (Congress). Two Independent candidates, including former NCP MLA Vilas Lande, is also in the fray there.

In Jalgaon, Chandulal Patel (BJP) and seven Independents candidates are in the ring, as NCP and Congress have withdrawn their candidates on the last date of withdrawal. Bhandara-Gondia is also seeing a triangular contest among Praful Agrawal of Congress, Rajendra Jain of NCP and Parinay Phuke of BJP, besides five Independent candidates in fray. Counting of votes will take place on November 22.