The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday granted permission for holding elections to the Legislative Council (MLCs) in Maharashtra on May 21, ending the brewing political uncertainty in the state.
It said the necessary guidelines will need to be ensured for safety against COVID-19 during the elections.
This comes two days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the brewing political uncertainty in the state. Also, a day before, Governor BS Koshiyari had requested the Election Commission of India to declare elections to 9 vacant seats of Maharashtra Legislative Council.
A statement from Raj Bhavan said that Koshyari requested the ECI to declare elections to the nine vacant seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council "at the earliest".
The governor made the request to the poll watchdog to fill the nine seats that have been lying vacant since April 24, with a view to end the current uncertainty in the State.
Since Thackeray is not a member of either house of the State Legislature, he needs to get elected to the the Council before May 27, 2020, the statement said.
The Election Commission had withheld the election process for these nine seats due to the coronavirus crisis.
Thackeray was sworn in as chief minister on November 28, 2019. He has to become a member of the House by May 28 when he completes six months in office. Otherwise he will cease to the chief minister.