Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has taken oath as a member of the Legislative Council on Monday after he was elected unopposed to the legislature. Thackeray was chosen as the chief minister of Maharashtra in November but he was not a member of either Houses in the state legislature.
Thackeray took the oath of office along with eight other candidates belonging to the ruling and opposition parties who were all elected unopposed to the state Legislative Council on Thursday.
His unopposed election to the legislature comes after weeks of uncertainty when he finally dialled up PM Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to conduct the MLC elections.
The MLC elections in Maharashtra were postponed, citing the coronavirus crisis. However, the Shiv Sena-led alliance alleged vested interests of the opposition in trying to create instability.
Soon, after Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari wrote to the Election Commission requesting the elections to be conducted.
The biennial elections for the nine seats of the Council were prompted after they fell vacant on April 24.
The election process was initiated on May 4 to fill in vacancies for nine seats. However, the elections were postponed.
As many as 14 candidates had filed their nomination papers for the nine seats. Of them, the nomination of one candidate was rejected during the scrutiny of papers, while BJP’s Ajit Gopchade and Sandeep Lele, NCP’s Kiran Pawaskar, and Shivajirao Garje withdrew from the race on May 12.
The nine candidates left in the fray were Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray and Neelam Gorhe, NCP’s Shashikant Shinde, Amol Mitkari, Congress’s Rajesh Rathod, and four candidates of the opposition BJP—Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil, Gopichand Padalkar, Pravin Datke, and Ramesh Karad.