Former Union minister Milind Deora is emerging as a frontrunner for one of the Rajya Sabha seats which is among the six that are falling vacant from the state next month. According to the present statistics, all but one seat can be bagged by the three-party ruling alliance. The sixth seat can be won by the Congress party easily as it has the requisite vote quota, which is 42, to win the election. The Congress has 44 members in the lower house of Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray and the NCP led by Sharad Pawar have around 16 MLAs in their camps. Thus, even if they join hands for the election which is held in the open, they will have little chance of any victory. Moreover, the state assembly speaker, Rahul Narwekar, has ruled that the Shiv Sena led by chief minister Eknath Shinde is the real party. Hence, its whip will be binding on Uddhav’s supporter MLAs. Likewise, a hearing is going on about the disqualification or otherwise of the MLAs with Pawar. If the speaker’s ruling goes in favour of Ajit Pawar, the MLAs will have to obey the whip of the breakaway NCP. In that situation, the Congress will be the only opposition party left in the field. Deora has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Given his proximity with Shinde, the hopefuls in that camp will find it prudent to support the former South Mumbai MP.