Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, eight others sworn in as Legislative Council members

Along with Maharashtra CM, eight others were also sworn in to the council including Council Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe (Shiv Sena), four BJP candidates, two NCP candidates and one Congress Candidate.

May 18, 2020 16:38 IST
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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took oath as a member of the Legislative Council on May 18, 2020. Thackeray was administered the oath of the office by Council Chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar at a function held at the Vidhan Bhawan in south Mumbai.

Along with Maharashtra CM, eight others were also sworn in to the council including Council Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe (Shiv Sena), four BJP candidates, two NCP candidates and one Congress Candidate. All the members were elected to the upper house of the Maharashtra state legislature unopposed on May 14. 

Following are nine new MLC Members:

S.no

Name 

Party 

1. Uddhav Thackeray Shiv Sena
2. Neelam Gorhe Shiv Sena
3. Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil BJP
4. Gopichand Padalkar BJP
5. Praveen Datke BJP
6. Ramesh Karad BJP
7. Shashikant Shinde NCP
8. Amol Mitkari NCP
9. Rajesh Rathod INC

Key Highlights 

•  Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was elected unopposed to the Maharashtra Legislative Council along with eight other legislators on May 14, 2020.

•  The candidates were declared elected unopposed after the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended at 3 pm on May 14. 

•  Besides Thackeray, the eight others elected unopposed to the Legislative Council included four BJP candidates, one Shiv Sena candidate, one Congress candidate and two NCP candidates.

•  The 288-member legislative assembly was the electoral college for the biennial elections of the council's nine seats.

•  The Maharashtra Legislative Council Elections were conducted for a total of nine seats, which had been lying  vacant since April 24.

•  The elections were earlier supposed to be held in April but they were postponed to May 21 because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Significance

This marks the debut of Uddhav Thackeray in the Maharashtra State Legislature. The 59-year-old  Shiv Sena Chief has never personally contested in the elections. He became the state's Chief Minister after he was unanimously chosen as the head of the Maha Vikas Aghadi comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.

Why were MLC elections important?

Maharashtra CM Udhav Thackeray is not an elected member, as he had not contested in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections.  According to the Indian Constitution, if a Chief Minister is not an elected member of the state legislature then he has to get elected within 6 months otherwise he will be forced to step down. 

 Udhav Thackeray had taken oath as the Maharashtra CM on November 28, 2019. He had  time till May 27 to get elected to the state legislature or else he would have had to step down. The only way for Thackeray to enter the state legislature was through the Legislative Council. 

Background

The Election Commission on request of the Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari granted permission to conduct the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections on May 21 to fulfill the constitutional requirement. The request was approved in a virtual conference that saw the full Election Commission in attendance including Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra.

The Election Commission has directed that all the necessary health guidelines will need to be followed to ensure safety from coronavirus infection during the elections. The state government has assured that it will ensure that the polls are conducted in completely safe and hygienic conditions with proper social distancing protocols in place.

Maharashtra State Congress President Balasaheb Thorat had announced on May 10 that it will withdraw one of its two nominees for the May 21 MLC Elections. This means that the Maha Vikas Aghadi comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress had five nominees for five seats and BJP had four candidates for remaining four seats. 

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