The chief minister, who is currently not a member of either of the Houses of the state Legislature, submitted his nomination papers to the election officer. He was accompanied by his wife Rashmi Thackeray, son and state Cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray and Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut.
Neelam Gorhe, the deputy chairperson of Maharashtra Legislative Council, also filed her nomination papers from the Shiv Sena. Besides, NCP leaders Shashikant Shinde and Amol Mitkari and Congress' Rajesh Rathod also filed their papers.
Elections for nine seats of the state Legislative Council are scheduled on May 21. The ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, has fielded five candidates.
Thackeray, who is also president of the Shiv Sena, is set to enter the Legislative Council unopposed as the Congress on Sunday announced that it would withdraw one of its two nominees. State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said, "We have decided to field only one out of two nominees for the MLC elections, which means the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) will have five nominees for as many seats (out of the total nine)".
The opposition BJP has announced four candidates - Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil, Gopichand Padalkar, Praveen Datke, and Ajit Gopchhade - who filed their nominations on Friday.
Monday is the last day for filing nominations. The scrutiny of papers will take place on Tuesday and the last date for withdrawal of papers is May 14.
The election comes at a time when Maharashtra is among one of the worst hit states in the country by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the health ministry data, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country is from Maharashtra at 22,171 followed by Gujarat at 8,194.