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Shivaji descendant hopes for an RS seat ‘by consensus’, Maharashtra events debate numbers


Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, the descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, has set a cat among the many pigeons within the mud pit of Maharashtra politics. The retiring Rajya Sabha MP has expressed his want to grow to be a member of the Upper House once more, well proposing that he hopes to be elected by consensus.

Given Sambhajiraje’s Shivaji hyperlinks, no Maharashtra get together can afford to antagonise him. The BJP the truth is helped him to the Rajya Sabha seat final time as a presidential nominee, as a approach of neutralising the Maratha quota agitation towards its authorities within the state.

The drawback is which get together will give votes to assist Sambhajiraje this time.

In an announcement Thursday, Sambhajiraje mentioned: “I am keen to contest as an Independent candidate for a Rajya Sabha seat. I will reach out for support from both the BJP and Maha Vikas Aghadi (the coalition of Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena) and Independents… I am not a member of any political party, nor do I intend to join any party. Going by my performance in the Rajya Sabha, I think all parties should support me for a second term.”

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The Rajya Sabha elections are scheduled on June 10, with the nominations to be filed by May 31.

Six seats in Maharashtra will likely be up for election, of which the BJP presently holds three (Piyush Goyal, Vikas Mahatme and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe). While the BJP should accommodate Goyal as he’s a Union minister, the get together is contemplating new candidates for the remaining two seats.

To get a candidate elected to the Rajya Sabha, 41 votes are wanted approximately. Elected MLAs vote in a Rajya Sabha election. In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP has 105 MLAs, the Congress 44, the NCP 54, the Shiv Sena 56 and smaller events / Independents collectively are 29.

As per the arithmetic, the BJP can get two individuals elected on the votes it has. A piece inside the get together believes that after getting its two candidates, it could take into account transferring the excess 23 votes to Sambhajiraje. However, for Sambhajiraje to win, votes can be wanted from different events.

The MVA events, Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena, can get one candidate every elected on their very own. This would depart them with 30 surplus votes – sufficient to get Sambhajiraje elected in the event that they be part of fingers with the BJP.

The BJP is but to make its stand clear on Sambhajiraje, although get together sources indicated they had been inclined in his favour. Earlier this week, Sambhajiraje met former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had performed an important position in getting him a Rajya Sabha berth in 2016.

Ties between them, nonetheless, have been strained. After turning into an MP, Sambhajiraje had refused to share stage with BJP leaders.

While the MVA too is silent on the difficulty, Congress minister Satej Patil earlier reached out to Sambhajiraje to come back work with the get together, and senior NCP minister Hassan Mushriff additionally sought him out.

Apart from asserting his want for a Rajya Sabha seat, Sambhajiraje additionally introduced a brand new outfit known as the Swarajya Sanghatana, to work for the welfare of individuals. He mentioned he was dedicated to social reforms, carrying ahead the legacy of Shivaji, Shahu Maharaj, and combating for reservation for Marathas and OBCs.

A senior BJP functionary from Western Maharashtra mentioned that whereas they’d “lose nothing” by supporting Sambhajiraje for the Rajya Sabha, “it will have to
be watched how he campaigns for Maratha reservation”. Should Sambhajiraje’s marketing campaign for a similar through his Sanghatana take off, questions will likely be directed on the MVA authorities for its failure on the identical.

Marathas account for round 30% of the state inhabitants, and a sizeable quantity which can be loyal to the Congress-NCP are a drive to reckon with in Western Maharashtra, the place the BJP is struggling to make inroads, the BJP chief identified.

Sambhajiraje has been flirting with politics since lengthy. In 2009, he contested the Lok Sabha seat from Kolhapur on an NCP ticket however misplaced. Next was the Rajya Sabha nomination.

After the Maratha quota demand rose in 2017, Sambhajiraje emerged because the voice of the neighborhood. The state authorities too sought him out to carry talks on the matter because the Maratha outfits had been divided amongst leaders owing allegiance to the BJP and Congress-NCP.

Maruti Bhapkar, a coordinator of the Maratha Kranti Morcha, performed down the event. “Sambhajiraje has lost his credibility… He contested the Lok Sabha election in 2009 on an NCP ticket, and then became a Rajya Sabha MP with the support of the BJP. It seems he has no ideology. He became MP of a party which does not follow the ideology of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj of carrying everyone together… I don’t think the Maratha community will come in full support of the ‘raje’ if he starts a political party,” Bhapkar mentioned.

Congress minister Satej Patil, nonetheless, mentioned he supported Sambhajiraje’s bid to begin a brand new outfit and he had the assist of the Maratha neighborhood.

BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhaye additionally prolonged his finest needs to Sambhajiraje. “As regards support to him for the Rajya Sabha, the party will take a decision,” he mentioned.

NCP spokesperson Ankush Kakade mentioned: “He is free to start a party if he wishes… But the political field is a different cup of tea, as he himself realised in 2009.”

While Sambhajiraje comes from the royal household of Kolhapur, the opposite descendants of Shivaji hail from the Satara royal household. They embody cousins Udayanraje Bhosale and Shivendraraje Bhosale. Udayanraje misplaced the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to an NCP candidate. Shivendraraje is a BJP MLA.

Giving a touch that he very a lot nurses political ambitions nonetheless, Sambhajiraje mentioned Thursday: “Everyone is insisting I should set up a political party. But in the first phase, I have decided to set up this organisation… If it turns into a political party, it should surprise none.”


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