Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday announced that it has decided to hold the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections on May 21 in Mumbai. The ECI has said that necessary precautions will have to be taken to ensure safety against the dreadful COVID-19 virus during the elections. 

This comes two days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that attempts were being made to create political instability in the state.

Following Thackeray's call to PM Modi, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari wrote a letter to the EC, requesting it to declare polls to the nine vacant seats of the state Legislative Council "at the earliest".

Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray also held a meeting with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan on Friday. The meeting lasted for about 20 minutes, a Raj Bhavan statement said.

During the meeting, Thackeray exchanged greetings with the governor on the occasion of the 60th foundation day of Maharashtra state, the statement added.

The biennial elections to the nine seats from the MLAs' quota, which fell vacant on April 24, were postponed by the ECI in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thackeray was sworn in as the chief minister on November 28 last year when he was not a member of the legislature. As per the rule, he has to get elected as legislator within six months.

The tenure of the two vacant seats from the governor quota ends by mid-June.

Meanwhile, state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat, the legislature party leader of the Congress had said that Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have written separate letters to the ECI requesting it to hold elections to the nine vacant council seats to avoid uncertainty over continuance of Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister.

Thorat said the letter mentions that the MVA, comprising Sena, NCP and Congress, enjoys a clear majority in the Legislative Assembly and Thackeray has won the vote of confidence in the 288-member state assembly.

Thorat said that in his letter to the ECI, he has mentioned that social distancing norms and all lockdown protocols will be followed during the election process.

Among the nine seats which fell vacant the BJP had three, Congress two, NCP three and Shiv Sena one. But according to the present numbers in the Assembly, BJP is slated to get four, Shiv Sena and NCP two each and Congress one. 

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma