On a day it won the elections held for two Maharashtra Legislative Council seats, the state BJP on Tuesday dared the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance to hold the election for the post of Assembly Speaker through secret ballot and indicated that BJP will win it.
The BJP retained the Nagpur seat and wrested the Akola-Buldhana-Washim seat from the Sena, results for which were declared on Tuesday.
Out of the total six seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council from five local constituencies which were up for grabs, the Shiv Sena (Sunil Shinde) and the BJP (Rajhans Singh) bagged one seat each unopposed in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
In the Kolhapur and Nandurbar-Dhule MLC polls also, the Congress and the BJP respectively secured one seat each unopposed.
In Nagpur, BJP candidate and former State Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule defeated Mangesh Deshmukh, the independent candidate supported by the MVA.
Shiv Sena's three-time MLC Gopikishan Bajoria was defeated by BJP's Vasant Khandelwal in Akola-Washim-Buldhana.
Speaking to reporters in Pune, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil on Tuesday said Congress played "childish games" during the election of the Nagpur MLC seat by poaching BJP's corporator Ravindra Bhoyar and offering him a ticket.
Mr Bhoyar withdrew on the eve of the polls. Mr Patil said a conflict between Congress State Unit President Nana Patole and Minister Sunil Kedar, also from Congress, came to the fore during the elections.
"I challenge the MVA to hold the election for the post of legislative assembly speaker through secret ballot instead of by raising hands. And you will come to know who becomes the Speaker," he said.
The winter session of the Maharashtra legislature is scheduled to be held in Mumbai from December 22 to 28.
The post of the Assembly speaker has been lying vacant after Nana Patole resigned to head the Maharashtra Congress. Mr Patil said the common people are facing hardships under the tenure of the MVA government and they have made up their mind to vote out the ruling dispensation.
Asked about Congress's stand to contest polls on its own, Mr Patil said all the three constituents of MVA -- Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress -- had decided to safeguard the power first and then resort to one-upmanship.
"When that one-upmanship goes overboard, they resort to damage control. A recent example is West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's visit to Mumbai. When she came to Mumbai, Pawar saheb (NCP chief) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena MP) rolled out the red carpet for her. During her visit, she kept on saying where is UPA? That time, no one took objection. But the moment they received a rap from Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and threatened to take away support, Raut started asking how UPA is possible without Congress," he claimed.