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

Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, the descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, has set a cat a few of the pigeons within the dust pit of Maharashtra politics. The retiring Rajya Sabha MP has expressed his want to turn into a member of the Upper House once more, neatly proposing that he hopes to be elected via consensus.

Given Sambhajiraje’s Shivaji hyperlinks, no Maharashtra birthday party can come up with the money for to antagonise him. The BJP in reality helped him to the Rajya Sabha seat ultimate time as a presidential nominee, as some way of neutralising the Maratha quota agitation in opposition to its executive within the state.

The downside is which birthday party will give votes to assist Sambhajiraje this time.

In a commentary Thursday, Sambhajiraje stated: “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.”

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

Six seats in Maharashtra can be up for election, of which the BJP these days holds 3 (Piyush Goyal, Vikas Mahatme and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe). While the BJP must accommodate Goyal as he’s a Union minister, the birthday party is thinking about new applicants for the remainder two seats.

To get a candidate elected to the Rajya Sabha, 41 votes are wanted roughly. 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 in combination are 29.

As in keeping with the mathematics, the BJP can get two folks elected at the votes it has. A bit throughout the birthday party believes that after you have its two applicants, it could actually imagine moving 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 each and every elected on their very own. This would depart them with 30 surplus votes – sufficient to get Sambhajiraje elected in the event that they sign up for arms with the BJP.

The BJP is but to make its stand transparent on Sambhajiraje, even though birthday party resources indicated they have been susceptible in his favour. Earlier this week, Sambhajiraje met former leader minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had performed a an important position in getting him a Rajya Sabha berth in 2016.

Ties between them, alternatively, were strained. After turning into an MP, Sambhajiraje had refused to proportion level with BJP leaders.

While the MVA too is silent at the factor, Congress minister Satej Patil previous reached out to Sambhajiraje to come back paintings with the birthday party, and senior NCP minister Hassan Mushriff additionally sought him out.

Apart from saying his want for a Rajya Sabha seat, Sambhajiraje additionally introduced a brand new outfit referred to as the Swarajya Sanghatana, to paintings for the welfare of folks. He stated he was once dedicated to social reforms, wearing ahead the legacy of Shivaji, Shahu Maharaj, and combating for reservation for Marathas and OBCs.

A senior BJP functionary from Western Maharashtra stated that whilst they’d “lose nothing” via 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 by means of his Sanghatana take off, questions can be directed on the MVA executive for its failure at the similar.

Marathas account for round 30% of the state inhabitants, and a sizeable quantity which are dependable to the Congress-NCP are a power to reckon with in Western Maharashtra, the place the BJP is suffering 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 price ticket however misplaced. Next was once the Rajya Sabha nomination.

After the Maratha quota call for rose in 2017, Sambhajiraje emerged because the voice of the neighborhood. The state executive too sought him out to carry talks at the subject because the Maratha outfits have been divided amongst leaders owing allegiance to the BJP and Congress-NCP.

Maruti Bhapkar, a coordinator of the Maratha Kranti Morcha, performed down the advance. “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 stated.

Congress minister Satej Patil, alternatively, stated he supported Sambhajiraje’s bid to start out a brand new outfit and he had the make stronger of the Maratha neighborhood.

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

NCP spokesperson Ankush Kakade stated: “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 circle of relatives of Kolhapur, the opposite descendants of Shivaji hail from the Satara royal circle of relatives. They come with 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 stated 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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