Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Thursday decided to contest the biennial elections to the Legislative Council from five graduate and teacher constituencies, where the term of sitting MLCs will expire on July 19.
The five retiring members include senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.
The decision was taken at a meeting of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and MPCC chief Manikrao Thakare along with senior leaders this morning.
The retiring MLCs are – Satish Chavan (NCP) from Aurangabad (graduate constituency), Chandrakant Patil (BJP) from Pune (graduates), Nitin Gadkari (BJP) from Nagpur (graduates) and independents Bhagwan Salunke from Pune (teachers) and Vasant Khotere from Amravati (teachers) constituency.
MPCC spokesman Sachin Sawant said, earlier the policy of the party was to support individuals or organisations in the teachers and graduates constituency but this time the party will contest on its own.
“Senior leaders will be deputed to visit the constituencies as co-ordinators and finalise the candidates. A meeting of the co-ordinators will be convened soon,” he said.
The Congress is of the view that opportunity should be given to the youth from the party to contest these elections to strengthen its base. Congress feels that supporting independents does not help it politically.
In the 78-member Legislative Council, NCP has more MLCs than the Congress.
Therefore, the Congress has decided to contest the election this time on its own, party sources said.