Maharashtra Assembly polls: 8.98 cr seal fate of 3,237

Polling officials check Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)'s and VVPAT's ahead of Maharashtra Assembly elections, in Karad, Maharashtra. (PTI Photo)

The fate of 3,237 candidates including scores of political bigwigs, chief ministerial aspirants, next-generation politicians and new aspirants, would be sealed on Monday when Maharashtra goes to polls.

An estimated 8.98 crore are eligible to vote for the polls that is a direct contest between MahaYuti,  an alliance led by ruling BJP-Shiv Sena and MahaAghadi, a front led by opposition Congress-NCP.

The elections to the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly – along with Haryana – is the first elections since the April-May 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Along with the Vidhan Sabha polls,  the bye-polls to Satara Lok Sabha seat is also being held.

Upsetting the ruling saffron alliance - that is riding high on nationalism is difficult despite issues like sluggish economy,  rural distress and agrarian crisis.

Among those whose reputation are at stake include chief minister Devendra Fadnavis,  his predecessors and Congressmen Prithviraj Chavan and Ashok Chavan, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya, NCP founder-president Sharad Pawar are at stake in this electoral battle. 

Aditya is contesting the elections from Worli in Mumbai and is being projected as Shiv Sena's CM candidate.

As far as the Congress are concerned – Prithviraj Chavan is contesting from Karad South, Ashok Chavan from Bhokar in Nanded district, while Sushilkumar Shinde's daughter Praniti Shinde is seeking re-election from Solapur South Central. Former CM Shivajirao Nilangekar's son Ashok Patil Nilangekar is contesting from Nilanga. Late Vilasrao Deshmukh's son elder Amit is seeking re-election from Latur City seat while younger son Dhiraj from Latur Rural.

State BJP president Chandrakant Patil is contesting polls from Kothrud in Pune while his Congress counterpart Babasaheb Thorat and state NCP chief Jayant Patil from Sangamner in Ahmednagar and Islampur in Sangli, respectively.

Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar is contesting the Baramati seat in Pune while grandnephew Rohit Pawar is pitted from Karjat-Jamkhed in Ahmednagar district.

The Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi that damaged the Congress and NCP in Lok Sabha polls is contesting 270 plus seats but the traction reduced as the canpaign ended. 

The Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen is contesting 50 plus seats but it does not seem working.

On the other hand, Uddhav's estranged and Maharashtra Navnirman  Sena president  Raj Thackeray,  whose party is contesting around 100 seats mainly in Mumbai and its suburbs,  Pune and Thane, has declared that he is working for a formidable opposition.

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