Amid the COVID battle in Maharashtra, the state will go to Legislative Council polls on May 21. Ramdas Athawale-led Republican Party of India (RPI) has demanded a Council seat in from its alliance partner BJP. Speaking to news agency ANI on Thursday, Union Minister Athwale said that the party has been with BJP since 2012 and therefore it has written to former CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis for one MLC seat.
The leader also added that even when Shiv Sena broke ties its long-term alliance partner after 2019 Assembly polls and joined hands with NCP and Congress to form the government in Maharashtra, it has been loyal to the saffron party and been with them.
"RPI has been with BJP since 2012. I have written to Devendra Fadnavis and Chandrakant Patil. We are demanding one MLC seat for RPI," Athawale said. He also said that the proposed International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) should be established in Mumbai. "IFSC centre should remain in Mumbai, which is the financial capital of India. The decision should be reconsidered. We will discuss it with PM Modi," Athawale said.
Meanwhile, last week a security guard posted at the residence of Athawale in Mumbai tested coronavirus positive, as per a RPI (A) party functionary.
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The Election Commission had announced to hold polls to nine legislative council seats in Maharashtra on May 21. The seats are currently held by Anand Rajendra Thakur (NCP), Hemant Prabhakar Takle (NCP), Kiran Jagannath Pawaskar (NCP), Chandrakant Batesing Raghuvanshi (INC), Smita Uday Wagh (BJP), Prithviraj Sayajirao Deshmukh (BJP), Arunbhau Janardan Adasad (BJP), Harisingh Narsu Rath (BJP), Dr. Neelam Gorhe (SS).
With the Election commission clearing Uddhav Thackeray's path to the state council, sources on Monday, reported that Thackeray and current Deputy state Council chairman Dr. Neelam Gorhe have been chosen as Shiv Sena's candidates to the state council in the upcoming elections of the 9 vacant MLC seats. On Friday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold elections to the Legislative Council in Maharashtra after 21 days - prior to Thackeray's term expires. This decision had occurred after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had requested the same. Gorhe is a 3-time MLC whose term expired on April 24, 2020, while Thackeray has never held an elected post.