BJP uses central agencies to threaten MPs in Maharashtra Council poll: Congress
Congress MPs have been called directly by central investigative agencies and urged to support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections scheduled for June 20, the State Congress Speaker said on Saturday. , Nana Patole.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), meanwhile, said that “the whole state of Maharashtra will witness a miracle” on polling day.
“The BJP-led central government is abusing the [state] machinery to harass the opposition throughout the country. These [Central] agencies are misused to suppress the voice of opposition and intimidate it. Our MPs are called directly and urged to favor the BJP,” Patole said, adding that information on this would be revealed “at the appropriate time.”
The Congress leader said the Rajya Sabha election scenario will not repeat itself on Saturday. “The BJP is creating obstacles in the Legislative Council elections, but the calculation of the numbers is on our side. We need 12 votes for second seat while BJP needs 22 votes for fifth candidate [out of a total of 10 seats being polled]. However, BJP claims victory based on money and central investigative agencies, but it won’t work this time and MVA [Maha Vikas Aghadi, the ruling alliance] will win six seats,” he said.
The MVA alliance partner NCP said the state would witness a miracle on Monday, Election Day. “We are discussing the guarantee of quotas for all our candidates. Independents have been contacted and briefed on the vote and they have all confirmed that they will vote as instructed by the Chief Minister,” Deputy Chief Minister and NCP Leader Ajit Pawar said.
Mr Ajit Pawar said that with three MPs out of 288 already missing from the electoral list – two NCP MPs are in jail and one Shiv Sena MP has died – the quota to secure victory could be reduced to 26. “We are sure that not only our [MLAs] but even opposition MPs will vote for our candidates following their conscience,” he said.
Congress and the NCP have denied rumors of rifts within the MVA.
While the BJP nominated five candidates (Pravin Darekar, Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bharatiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad), the three MVA alliance parties nominated two candidates each – the Shiv Sena nominated Sachin Ahir and Amshya Padvi; the NCP will field Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar and Eknath Khadse; Congress aligns Chandrakant Handore and Bhai Jagtap. The June 20 election is expected to lead to a showdown between BJP’s Mr. Lad and Congress’s Mr. Jagtap.