Millennium Post

Campaign for Maharashtra assembly polls ends; 3237 candidates in fray

Campaign for Maharashtra assembly polls ends; 3237 candidates in fray

Mumbai: The campaign for the Maharashtra assembly elections dominated by the aggressive narrative of nullification of Article 370 by the BJP, which is seeking a second straight term under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, came to end on Saturday evening.

From Opposition's perspective, it was perhaps the most lacklustre canvassing with the exception of a few rallies addressed by Rahul Gandhi who highlighted issues like the economic slowdown, unemployment, "failure" of demonetisation exercise and GST rollout. On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top BJP brass of the BJP, including Union ministers, raised Article 370 and Opposition's "objection" to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

The PM also spoke about "corrupt" leadership of the Opposition.

For its part, the Opposition camp raised the issues of economic slowdown and joblessness but appeared lacking in projecting itself as a strong alternative to the BJP narrative.

The main contest lies between the "Mahayuti" or grand alliance led by the BJP and the "maha-aghadi" (front) led by the Congress and the NCP. The bypoll for Satara Lok Sabha constituency will also be held on October 21. Former NCP leader and sitting MP Udayanraje Bhosale is in the fray from the seat on a BJP ticket against Shriniwas Patil of the Congress-NCP combine.

Maharashtra has a total of 8,98,39,600 voters, including 4,28,43,635 women and 4,68,75,750 men, who are expected to exercise their franchise on October 21 to elect 288 out of total 3237 candidates, including 235 women, in the fray.

A total of 1,06,76,013 are voters fall in the age group of 18-25 years. The BJP is contesting 164 seats, which include candidates of smaller allies contesting on its lotus symbol, while Sena has fielded candidates on 124 rpt 124 seats.

On the other hand, the Congress has fielded 147 candidates and the ally NCP 121.

Among other parties, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), led by Raj Thackeray, has fielded 101 candidates, the CPI 16, the CPM 8. The BSP has fielded candidates in 262 constituencies. A total of 1400 Independents are also in the poll arena. The campaign is marked by personal attacks and sharp exchange of barbs between the chief minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

For the Opposition, Pawar seemed to be the only saving grace who hit the hustings at the age of 79 and addressed a number of rallies in which he attacked PM Modi and BJP on a string of issues.

However, the Congress and NCP failed to hold even a single joint rally in contrast to the joint rally held by the prime minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai on October 18.

Team MP

Team MP

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