The upcoming Maharashtra Legislative Council elections on July 12 are crucial, especially after the ruling Mahayuti alliance put up a poor show in the Lok Sabha elections. Currently, Assembly’s effective strength reduced from 288 to 274  as some members become MPs, few deaths and suspensions. Now, new member will be elected by MLAs and it will be a huge loyalty test for them as both ruling coalition and the Opposition will vote by secret ballot.

Of the 11 MLCs retiring on July 27, four are from the BJP, two from Congress, and one each from the NCP, Shiv Sena, Shiv Sena (UBT), Peasants and Workers Party, and Rashtriya Samaj Party.

Since the Lok Sabha results, romours have been doing rounds that around 18-19 MLAs who sided with NCP chief Ajit Pawar are now trying to return to the Sharad Pawar camp.

The MVA has also stated that the upcoming Budget session will be the breaking point for the Mahayuti, as Ajit, who is in charge of the finance portfolio, prepares to present the Budget in the Assembly on June 28, as reported by the Indian Express

“Those who want to return will do so only after the Budget session. The existence of the Mahayuti after the Budget session is unlikely,” he said.

The Mahayuti coalition in Maharashtra, consisting of BJP, Shiv Sena, and NCP, is facing internal tensions for some time. Both BJP and Shiv Sena have been sidelining Ajit Pawar’s NCP, after the party only secured one seat out of four. The RSS also criticised Ajit, blaming him for BJP’s poor performance.

Last week too, the BJP and Sena did not accompany Ajit for the Rajya Sabha nomination filing of his wife Sunetra while a day later Ajit, who holds the finance portfolio, gave the Business Advisory Council (BAC) meeting ahead of the Budget session of the Assembly, a miss.

However, while declining comment on the RSS criticism, state BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule said the party’s vote share had increased even though the number of seats reduced (from 23 in 2019 to 9).

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Published: 18 Jun 2024, 10:27 PM IST

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