Campaign ends in Maharashtra, over to voters now

The vitriolic yet colourful and high-voltage month-long campaign that had moments of anger, anguish and emotions ended in Maharashtra on Saturday.

On the last day of the campaign when there were drizzles in several parts of the state, candidates carried out roadshows, padyatras, street-corner meetings and door-to-door campaign.

As the cacophony ended, the mercury also came down because of the rain ahead of Diwali festivities.

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 is riding high on the issue of nationalism even as Congress' leadership crisis was clearly visible and NCP had its own problems.

While Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra gave a complete skip, her son Rahul Gandhi addressed a few meetings. 

For BJP,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister and BJP  president Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis led the charge.

Form the Shiv Sena's side, it was Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya.

For 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, assured Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar and social reformer couple Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.

The Shiv Sena on the other hand 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.

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.

29 crore cash seized

The Investigation Wing of the Income Tax Department, Mumbai, has so far seized unaccounted cash of Rs 29 crore in Mumbai ever since the Model Code of Conduct came into force there.

Assembly elections 2019 | Get the latest news, views and analysis on elections in Haryana and Maharashtra on DeccanHerald.com


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