Rajani Patil (File Photo)
Senior Congress leader Rajani Patil is set to be declared elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra after the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on September 27 withdrew its candidate for the October 4 by-poll
The by-election was necessitated due to the death of Congress MP Rajeev Satav on May 16, days after recovering from COVID-19.
Satav’s term in the Upper House of Parliament was till April 2, 2026. The last day of withdrawal of nomination papers for the October 4 by-election was September 27.
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The BJP had fielded its Mumbai general secretary Sanjay Upadhyay for the by-poll but he withdrew his candidature paving the way for Patil, 62, to get elected unopposed, a PTI news report said.
Congress leader Patil, the candidate of the ruling Shiv Sena-led the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), and Upadhyay were the only candidates in the fray.
"I have withdrawn my nomination on the party's directives," he said Upadhyay told reporters on September 27 adding that the Congress leaders in Maharashtra had appealed to the BJP to withdraw its candidate.
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Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole along with minister Balasaheb Thorat had met former chief minister and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis urging him to facilitate the unopposed election of Patil, according to reports.
The Congress leaders had argued that in keeping with Maharashtra’s political tradition, elections conducted to fill a vacancy arising from the death of a sitting member are usually held in an unopposed manner.
"The decision to withdraw my candidature was taken in a meeting of the state BJP core committee," Upadhyay said in the PTI report.
A report in the Hindu said that observers said that the fact that the BJP anyway did not have the requisite numbers in the Maharashtra Legislature may have led them to withdraw their candidate. The MVA — comprising by the Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and the Congress — have a total of 144 seats in the Legislative Assembly as opposed to BJP’s 105, while the MVA has 36 of the 78 seats in the Council as against the BJP’s 24.
The BJP is the single largest party with 106 MLAs in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
(With PTI inputs)