Assembly election campaigns to end on Oct 19

Representative image. (PTI photo)

The vitriolic but colourful high-voltage month-long campaign that had moments of anger, anguish, emotions will end in Maharashtra on Saturday evening.

The second biggest state in terms of legislative seats goes to polls on Monday - the first big state to face elections after the Lok Sabha polls. For the race to 288-seat Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, the contest is between the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and the opposition Congress-NCP front. 

The ruling saffron alliance is in a better position and riding high on the issue of nationalism even as Congress' leadership crisis was clearly visible and the NCP had its own problems. 
While Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her daughter and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra gave a complete skip, her son Rahul Gandhi addressed a few meetings. 
For the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi,  Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis led the charge, from the Sena side, it was Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya. For the NCP, its founder-president Sharad Pawar held the fort. 

During the campaign, the BJP raised the issue of abrogation of Article 370 and 35A from Jammu & Kashmir, surgical strikes and Balakot airstrikes and pushed the development agenda. They assured Bharat Ratna to revolutionary freedom fighter Veer Savarkar and social reformer couple Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule while its ally Sena promised the Rs 10 thali and Rs 1 health check-up.

The Congress and NCP raised the issue of economic situation, rural distress and job losses. While top Congress leaders of state, who were contesting confined themselves to their seats and regions, it was Pawar who was batting for the Congress-NCP alliance.  Through,  former prime minister and economist Dr Manmohan Singh had one interaction in Mumbai during which he said that blaming Congress for everything does not work. 

Nearly,  8.97 crore electorate will seal the fate of 3, 237 candidates on Monday.

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