NAGPUR, Maharashtra: Ending weeks of uncertainty and an impending political instability in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was elected unopposed to the upper house of Maharashtra state legislature on Thursday.
Thackeray was not a member of any house of Maharashtra legislature when he took oath as the chief minister on November 28 last year.
Article 164(4) of the Indian constitution requires a minister or a chief minister to acquire the membership of any house of the state legislature within six months of taking oath as a minister if he or she is not a member of any house at the time of taking the oath.
Thackeray was hoping to get elected in the biennial elections for the nine seats of the state council which fell vacant on April 24 but this election was postponed due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and countrywide lockdown creating uncertainty over his continuation in the office.
To avoid any political instability, the Maharashtra cabinet had proposed that Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari should nominate Thackeray to the state council but the Governor sat on the cabinet’s request for weeks. A BJP worker had even moved to the Bombay High Court objecting Maharashtra cabinet’s move to propose Thackeray’s name as a nominated member after which Thackeray took up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The process for election to nine seats began on May 4 and 14 candidates had filed thier nomination papers including Thackeray.
The Congress party had also declared two candidates for this council poll but the party withdrew one of is candidates last week. Four candidates withdrew thier nominations and one candidate’s nomination was rejected leaving only nine candidates in the fray.
The remaining nine candidates have been declared elected unopposed on Thursday after the deadline for withdrawal of papers ended at 3 pm, PTI reported quoting an official of the election commission.
Apart from the chief minister, Shiv Sena’s Neelam Gorhe, NCP’s Amol Mitakri and Shashikant Shinde, Congress’s Rajesh Rathod and BJP’s Rajjitsingh Mohite Patil, Goipchand Padalkar, Pravin Datke, and Ramesh Karad were also elected to the state council unopposed.