On expected lines, the Shiv Sena has nominated Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray for the upcoming biennial elections to nine seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, official sources said in Mumbai on Tuesday (5 May).
Besides, the party has also named Neelam Gorhe, the current Deputy Chairperson of the Legislative Council.
This will make Uddhav Thackeray only the second member of the state's numero uno Thackeray political clan to take the electoral plunge, although through the Upper House, for which the electoral college comprises the 288 members of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly or Lower House.
Last October, his son Aditya Thackeray successfully contested the Worli Assembly seat and is presently the Environment and Tourism Minister.
Uddhav Thackeray was sworn-in as Chief Minister on 28 November as the head of the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance.
A member of neither House of the Legislature, it was imperative for Uddhav Thackeray to get elected by 27 May to avert a potential constitutional crisis at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following a request by the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to the Centre, the Election Commission of India (ECI) notified the elections on 4 May, and the polling, if necessary, would be conducted on 21 May, and the entire election process would be completed by 26 May.
The nine MLC seats fell vacant on 24 April, but earlier on 3 April, the ECI had deferred all elections till further orders in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
The outgoing members are: Neelam Gorhe, Chandrakant Raghuvanshi, Hemant Takle, Kiran Pawaskar, Anand Thakur, Smita Wagh, Prithviraj Deshmukh, Arun Adsad and Harisingh Rathod.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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