IMAGE: Twitter BJP
Clearing the way for Congress' Rajni Patil's election to the Rajya Sabha, BJP candidate Sanjay Upadhyay withdrew his name for the lone Maharashtra Rajya Sabha seat by-polls. Updhayay said, "Being an obedient party worker, I am following the decision of our leaders", after withdrawing his candidature. RS bypoll will be held in Maharashtra's lone seat which fell vacant with demise of MP Rajeev Satav.
संगठन निर्णय सर्वोपरी !— Sanjay Upadhyay🇮🇳 (@SanjayRupadhyay) September 27, 2021
मैंने राज्यसभा की उम्मीदवारी का अर्ज़ सहर्ष वापस लिया ।पार्टी के नेता मा . देवेंद्र फडणवीस जी ,मा. चंद्रकांत दादा पाटील व कोर कमिटी के सभी सदस्यों का मन:पुर्वक आभार ! सभी सहकारी नेताओं, पदाधिकारियों व मित्र जनो का शुभकामनाओं के लिए धन्यवाद - संजय उपाध्याय pic.twitter.com/61cdbAPtsY
Last week, Congress state president Nana Patole and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat met Devendra Fadnavis to request him to withdraw the BJP candidate for the bypolls. Irking its allies, Congress requested Fadnavis to do so, so that Patil can be elected unopposed. Fadnavis had allegedly agreed to do so if the suspension of 12 BJP MLAs was revoked.
Later, the Election Commission of India allowed BJP's 12 suspended legislators to vote in the Rajya Sabha by-election. During the two-day Monsoon Session of the state legislature in July, BJP's Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Majahan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Parag Alavani, Harish Pimple, Ram Satpute, Jayakumar Rawal, Yogesh Sagar, Narayan Kuche and Kirtikumar Bhangdiya were suspended for one year for allegedly abusing and manhandling Shiv Sena MLA Bhaskar Jadhav who was in the chair. Bypoll voting will take place on October 4.
For the Maharashtra bypoll, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has approved the candidature of AICC Jammu and Kashmir in-charge Rajni Patil. She was previously elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2013 after the demise of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and remained an MP till April 2, 2018. On the other hand, BJP had fielded its Mumbai unit's general secretary Sanjay Upadhyay.
Only MLAs will be allowed to vote in the RS by-elections. While Patil is expected to win the election comfortably as the MVA has a majority in the Lower House, her term will expire on April 2, 2026. At present, BJP is the single-largest party in the Maharashtra Assembly with 106 seats whereas the ruling coalition has 171 MLAs. Overall, six Rajya Sabha seats go to polls on October 4 - one each in West Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and two in Tamil Nadu.