The process of filing of nominations began on Tuesday and the last date is January 28 while last date for withdrawal of candidature is January 7.
Pune-based businessman Sanjay Kakade and another businessman Vijay Kalantri, who is also former state Congress treasurer have declared their intention to contest as Independents.
The highlight of this election will be the presence of Union Minister for Agriculture and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar in the fray. He and another NCP candidate Majid Memon will file their papers on January 24.
The quota for winning votes in the electoral college of 287 elected members of the Legislative Assembly is 36.
The strength of the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly has been reduced to 287 due to the demise of Congress MLA and former minister Subhash Zanak.
Shiv Sena, which has 45 MLAs can get only one candidate for Rajya Sabha elected while BJP with 47 MLAs, has only one retiring member party national spokesman Prakash Javdekar.
Sena has two retiring members - Rajkumar Dhoot and Bharatkumar Raut. Also, it will have nine surplus votes while BJP will have 11 after getting each of their candidate elected with quota of 36.

While Congress with a strength of 81 and NCP with 62 and supporting independent MLAs can get their four candidates elected.

The smaller parties have 28 members - Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) 12, PWP 4, Samajwadi party 3, Bahujan Vikas Agadhi 2, Jansurajya party has 2, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, CPI (M), LokSangram, Rashtriya Samaj party, Swabhimani party have one member each.
Kakade and Kalantri are banking on these 28 votes.
Kalantri said he was in talks with the leaders of these parties while Kakade is seeking support of Independent MLAs.
There are 24 independents out of which a majority supports the Congress-NCP combine.
There is resentment in the Congress because sitting members Murli Deora and Hussain Dalwai are likely to be re-nominated. However, state Congress leaders say the decision would be taken by the high command.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will return from Davos on January 25 and the candidates are likely to be declared by January 27. The last date of filing of nominations is January 28 and the scrutiny will take place a day after.
The election for the seven seats, if needed, will be through open ballot on February 7. The term of the retiring members ends on April 2.


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