Polling begins for 11 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra

Polling began Monday morning for 11 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra in the fourth phase of general elections in the state, an official said.
Polling begins for 11 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra
Polling begins for 11 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra

Mumbai | Polling began Monday morning for 11 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra in the fourth phase of general elections in the state, an official said.

Polling began at 7 am and will end at 6 pm in Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Raver, Jalna, Aurangabad, Maval, Pune, Shirur, Ahmednagar, Shirdi, and Beed constituencies, the official said.

Union minister Raosaheb Danve, BJP leader Pankaja Munde and actor-turned-politician Amol Kolhe are among the prominent candidates.

A total of 298 candidates are in the fray with Beed constituency having the highest number of candidates at 41, while Nandurbar has the lowest number at 11.

Altogether 2.28 crore voters are eligible to participate in the fourth phase elections in the state. They comprise 1.18 crore males, 1.09 crore females, and 1272 third-gender voters.

In the 11 constituencies, there are 23,284 polling centres, 83 of which are deemed critical. Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar constituency in Marathwada has the highest number of critical polling centres at 20.

Voting is underway using 53,959 ballot units, 23,284 control units, and 23,284 VVPAT machines, the official said.

The BJP has renominated Union minister Danve from Jalna constituency and Sujay Vikhe Patil in Ahmednagar, and fielded former state minister Pankaja Munde from Beed.

Actor Amol Kolhe is the NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) candidate from Shirur Lok Sabha seat in Pune district.

In Marathwada, it is the BJP versus Congress in Jalna, and the Uddhav Thackeray-headed Shiv Sena (UBT) versus Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena in Aurangabad.

In Beed, the BJP has fielded former state minister Pankaja Munde instead of sitting MP and her younger sister Pritam Munde. Pankaja's main rival is Bajrang Sonawane of the NCP (SP).

In Shirur, sitting MP Kolhe of the NCP (SP) is pitted against Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil, who is contesting as candidate of the NCP led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

After Baramati in Pune district, Shirur is another prestige battle for Ajit Pawar who has publicly stated that he wants to ensure the defeat of Kolhe.

In northern Maharashtra's Nandurbar (ST-reserved), sitting BJP MP Heena Gavit and Congress' Gowaal Padvi are locked in a straight contest.

In Ahmednagar in western Maharashtra, BJP's Sujay Vikhe Patil is taking on Nilesh Lanke of the NCP (SP).

Lanke, the MLA from Parner in Ahmednagar district, sided with Ajit Pawar when the NCP split in July 2023. However, he later returned to the Sharad Pawar camp.

In Jalgaon, it is a BJP versus NCP (SP) battle.

In Raver also, which comes under Jalgaon district, the BJP and the Sharad Pawar-led outfit are taking on each other.

In western Maharashtra's Maval, the two rival Shiv Senas are locked in a bitter fight post the 2022 split in the party.

In Pune city, the BJP and the Congress are the main contenders.

In Shirdi constituency, where the famous Saibaba temple is located, the Shiv Sena led by Shinde is taking on the Shiv Sena (UBT).

Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after 80 in Uttar Pradesh.

Out of the 48 seats, voting has been completed in 24 in the first three phases of elections.

Polling for the fifth and final phase covering 13 seats will take place on May 20.

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