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RS Elections: MVA Alliance Helds Meeting With MLAs Of 3 Parties

After more than two decades, Maharashtra will see a contest in the Rajya Sabha elections as seven candidates are trying their luck for six seats. Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates- Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar

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Ahead of the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections in Maharashtra, Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge held a meeting with MLAs of the three parties on Tuesday.

On one hand, the leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress held talks with independent MLAs and smaller parties to garner support. On the other hand, Shiv Sena decided to shift its MLAs from a resort in suburban Malad to a five-star hotel in south Mumbai ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections.

Shiv Sena MLA and spokesperson Sunil Prabhu told news agency PTI on Tuesday evening, "During the meeting, the Chief Minister said that our victory is certain. Also asked the MLAs of all the three parties to remain united."

He told that apart from MLAs of smaller parties like Prahar, independent MLAs were also present in the meeting. Earlier in the day, Sunil Prabhu said, "We were at 'The Retreat' (Mud Island resort in north-west Mumbai) and all our ministers were also present there. It was part of our election strategy."

Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs in the 288-member house. A party MLA had died of a heart attack last month. Uddhav Thackeray had met all the MLAs of his party and other members who supported him on Monday.

After more than two decades, Maharashtra will see a contest in the Rajya Sabha elections as seven candidates are trying their luck for six seats. The Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates - Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.

At the same time, Praful Patel from NCP and Imran Pratapgarhi from Congress are in the fray. For the sixth seat, there is a contest between Pawar and Mahadik. According to the assembly maths, BJP has enough votes to win two seats, while Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress can get one seat each.

Shiv Sena (55), NCP (52) and Congress (44), who are part of the state's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, together can ensure the victory of another Shiv Sena candidate. While two NCP MLAs - Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik - are in jail, one seat is vacant in the 288-member house. Apart from the four major parties, 25 independents and MLAs of smaller parties are also present in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

The Shiv Sena has decided to keep its MLAs in one place after accusing the opposition BJP of 'horse-trading' and using central agencies to put pressure on independent MLAs.

Meanwhile, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday claimed that no one from the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has sought support in the elections to the six Rajya Sabha seats in Maharashtra. The leader has not contacted him.

Speaking to reporters in Nanded, Owaisi said, "If they want our support, they should contact us." At the same time, BJP leader and former minister Girish Mahajan met Hitendra Thakur on Tuesday and sought his support. Thakur has three Bahujan Vikas Aghadi MLAs and is known to be a supporter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.