Mumbai, Oct 21: Polling for 288 Assembly constituencies of Maharashtra began at 7 am this morning and will be on till 6 pm. BJP- Shiv Sena, under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis, is seeking a second term in the state, while the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party or NCP have stitched an alliance to counter Saffron party’s issues of dividing country on communal lines, farmers suicides and on unemployment among other issues. Besides, bye-elections will also take place in Satara Lok Sabha constituency. Polling is expected to conclude at 6 pm.
This is the first state election, or assembly election after Lok Sabha general election which was held in early 2019.
The ruling BJP made “national integration” a poll plank, Modi government’s decision to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status while pledging to work towards making Maharashtra a drought-free state. The state unit of the BJP in its manifesto has demanded Bharat Ratna for Hindutva icon Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
The Opposition has been attacking the BJP government on the economic slowdown, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi blaming the ruling party for the economic crisis and unemployment.
Prominent candidates include Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis from Nagpur South-West and his predecessors from Congress — Ashok Chavan, who is contesting from Bhokar in Nanded district, and Prithviraj Chavan, who is seeking a re-election from Karad South in Satara district. Aaditya Thackeray, the son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, has also entered the poll fray from Worli constituency in Mumbai.Other key Sena candidates include Sunil Raut and Sunil Prabhu, who have been given tickets for the Vikhroli and Dindoshi Assembly constituencies respectively.
‘Vote For Progress’: Congress
“On 21st October, Maharashtra celebrates the biggest festival of democracy. We request every voter to participate in the Maharashtra Assembly polls. Vote For Progress. Vote For Congress,” the party tweeted.