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LS polls: High-octane campaigning in 8 constituencies in Maharashtra ends

Author : IANS

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Mumbai, April 24 (IANS) The high-octane campaigning for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections covering eight constituencies in Maharashtra ended on Wednesday.

Of the eight constituencies, Buldhana, Akola, Amaravati, Wardha and Yavatmal-Washim are from the Western Vidarbha while Hingoli, Nanded and Parbhani are from the Marathwada.

It is a prestige battle for the MahaYuti comprising BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP and the Maha Vikas Aghadi consisting of Shiv Sena UBT, NCP (SP) and Congress. This is despite the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and Bahujan Samaj Party having fielded their candidates in these constituencies.

In all, 204 candidates are in the fray in these eight constituencies.

The polling is slated for April 26.

A total of 1,49,25,912 eligible voters will exercise their voting rights in 16,589 polling stations in these eight constituencies.

The MahaYuti carried out its campaigning riding on 'Modi Wave' and playing up 'Modi Guarantee' in a bid to consolidate its grip in these constituencies.

On the other hand, Maha Vikas Aghadi reached out to the voters on the issues of unemployment, inflation and farmers' distress projecting the "failures" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and the MahaYuti government in the state.

PM Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief JP Nadda and a host of other leaders addressed rallies while MVA leaders including Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Rahul Gandhi ran hectic campaigning for its nominees.

Amid the heat wave, parties are making all efforts to bring the voters to the polling stations so that there will be a high percentage of voting.

Buldhana, Yavatmal-Washim, Hingoli are represented by the Eknath Shinde led Shiv Sena while Akola, Wardha, Nanded by the BJP and Parbhani by Shiv Sena (UBT).

Shiv Sena had to drop the sitting MPs Bhavana Gawali from Yavatmal-Washim and Hemant Patil from Hingoli especially after the adverse poll survey reports and also due to reservations expressed by some party leaders and also by the BJP.

The Amravati seat is represented by an Independent, Navneet Kaur-Rana.

In Nanded, the BJP has renominated Pratap Patil Chikhalikar against Congress nominee Vasant Chavan. Chikhalikar had defeated Ashok Chavan who had contested as the Congress nominee in the 2019 election, but during this election, Chavan, who became the Rajya Sabha member after joining BJP, had sought votes for Chikhalikar.

In Akola, the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi founder Prakash Ambedkar, who could not agree to seat sharing arrangement with Maha Vikas Aghadi partners, is in the fray against BJP nominee Anup Mhatre and Congress candidate Abhay Patil.

In Amaravati, the BJP nominated Navneet Kaur-Rana, who was elected as an Independent in the 2019 elections, against Congress nominee Baswant Wankhede.

Prahar Janashakti Party founder and former minister Bachhu Kadu has fielded his party's nominee in this constituency.

In Wardha, NCP (SP) has nominated youth leader Amara Kale against BJP's two-term MP Ramdas Tadas while in Yavatmal-Washim, there is a fight between Shiv Sena nominee Rajashri Patil and Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate Sanjay Deshmukh.

In Hingoli, Shiv Sena nominee Baburao Kadam Kohalikar is pitted against Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate Nagesh Patil Ashitkar.

In Parbhani, the NCP led by Ajit Pawar left the seat to MahaYuti ally Rashtriya Samaj Paksha founder Mahadev Jankar who faces a challenge from the Shiv Sena (UBT) nominee and sitting MP Sanjay Jadhav.

State chief electoral officer S. Chockalingam said that the poll machinery has been fully equipped and geared up for peaceful polling on April 26.

"Adequate trained staff and police personnel have been deployed for smooth and peaceful polling," he added.

He appealed to the voters to turn up to exercise their voting rights and thereby increase the polling percentage.

--IANS

sj/pgh


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