Mumbai: After 30 days of a deliberate and crucial political campaign, the stage is all set for assembly elections in Maharashtra on Monday. All political parties have played their card, and now it is showtime.
Elections in the state are crucial to all involved players. The saffron alliance is fighting to stake claim of people’s support and successful government policies. They are looking forward to a second term while the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are contesting to survive in the political arena. While the Congress-NCP left no stone unturned to make a comeback, BJP and Shiv Sena are confident about winning maximum seats.
This time, 3,237 candidates have been fielded by different political parties on all 288 seats, highlighting the fact that this election is no less than a political war. All eyes are set on some important seats and star candidates in this election.
Topping the list is the current chief minister and BJP’s ace, Devendra Fadnavis. He is contesting from Nagpur South West, against Congress’ Ashish Deshmukh and 18 other contenders. Reportedly, BJP is confident on Devendra Fadnavis bagging the seat with a considerable margin.
Maharashtra Congress President Balasaheb Thorat is contesting from Sangamner. He will be facing Shiv Sena leader Sahebrao Navale, and it is said that the fight will be tough on the Sangamner seat.
Another Congress big shot is Ashok Chavan. The former Maharashtra chief minister is contesting from Bhokar against BJP’s Bapusaheb Gorthekar and five others. Chavan had managed to save his seat in 2014, regardless of the Modi wave. Another former Maharashtra chief minister and union minister, Prithviraj Chavan is contesting from Karad South. The senior Congress leader is challenged by BJP’s Atulbaba Bhosle and 11 others.
The most discussed candidate of this election is Aditya Thackeray. The heir of Shiv Sena and Thackeray family is contesting from Worli, and he is the first Thackeray to contest the election and step into electoral politics.
NCPs strongman and Sharad Pawar’s nephew, Ajit Pawar is contesting from Baramati. He is fighting against BJPs Gopichand Padalkar and eight others. Baramati is crucial for the Pawar family as it is said to be the family’s fortress.
NCPs Dhananjay Munde and BJP’s Pankaja Munde are contesting from Parli. Reportedly, the fight between cousins will be exciting as it is touted to be very close. Besides, in the fray is BJP Maharashtra President Chandrakant Dada Patil, contesting from Kothrud. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Kishor Shinde and nine others challenge him.
As the grandnephew of NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar, Rohit Pawar is making his electoral debut in this election. He is contesting from Karjat-Jamkhed against his main rival, BJP’s Ram Shinde.
Out of the total candidates, only 236 are women while the rest 3,001 are men. The state has 8.97 crore votes. The Election Commission of India and state electoral authorities have prepared for a peaceful election on Monday. ECI has set up 966,661 polling stations, and 135,021 VVPAT EVMs will be used in the state for the election.