A group of Maharashtra MLAs from the ruling Shiv Sena, as well as some Independents, were shifted to an unknown hotel on Monday evening, 6 June, ahead of the upcoming 10 June upper house elections for six Rajya Sabha seats from Maharashtra.
The MLAs boarded two luxury buses following a meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prevent the possibility of horse-trading by the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the elections.
According to NDTV, Thackeray held a meeting on Monday with Independent MLAs and those from the party.
Two buses were seen parked opposite the Sahyadri Guest House, the official guest house of the Maharashtra government. The MLAs are likely to be taken to Hotel Retreat in Malad, which is located in the western suburbs of Mumbai.
The BJP has fielded three candidates – Union minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde, and Dhananjay Mahadik – for the six seats up for grabs in the state. The party has 106 members in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
From the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) camp, the Shiv Sena has fielded two, the Congress and Sharad Pawar's NCP have fielded one candidate each. The Congress has fielded Imran Pratapgarhi, the Shiv Sena has nominated Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar, and the NCP has re-nominated Praful Patel. The Sena, the NCP, and the Congress have 56, 53, and 44 MLAs in the Assembly, respectively.
The BJP had rejected the MVA offer for an additional seat to avoid elections. Thus, the big contest will be for the sixth seat between the saffron party's Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar.
Seeking permission for two of its jailed MLAs, Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, to vote in the election, the NCP recently went to court. Malik has sought a one-day bail to vote in the election. Meanwhile, the MVA has called a meeting of its MLAs in Mumbai on 7 June.
Earlier in the day, the BJP in Rajasthan moved its MLAs to a resort in Jaipur for a ‘training camp’, days after the ruling Congress made a similar move. The MLAs were taken to the resort in two buses on Monday afternoon from the BJP office.
(With inputs from NDTV.)
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