Voters in Maharashtra will exercise their electoral right to elect state assembly representatives across all its constituencies today. Voting has begun at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm in the evening.
Today, polling is taking place for 90 seats in Haryana and 288 seats in Maharashtra assemblies, coupled with by-polls in 51 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states.
The electoral fate of 3,237 candidates in Maharashtra, including 235 women, will be sealed in EVMs by the voters. In Maharashtra, a total of 8,98,39,600 people, including 4,28,43,635 women, are eligible to vote at the 96,661 polling booths, that are in place with 6.5 lakh staff. The votes will be counted on October 24.
The 'Maha-Yuti' alliance of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena and smaller parties are locked in a tight contest against the 'Maha-agadhi', led by the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Where BJP is contesting from 150 seats, seeking a second straight term under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena is contesting from 124 seats. Under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena alliance, the BJP will get the top post and Uddhav Thackeray's party will get the Deputy Chief Minister's post.
On the other hand, Congress is contesting from 147 seats, while the Sharad Pawar-led party NCP is contesting in 121 seats.
Among other parties, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded candidates in 262 constituencies, while Prakash Ambedkar's Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi is contesting in 235 seats. Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is contesting for 101 seats, the Communist Party of India (CPI) for 16 and Communist Party of India (Marxist)(CPM) for 8 seats. The Samajwadi Party in 7, while the Socialist Workers Party (India)(SWP) is contesting in 5 seats.
Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) coalition faces an intimidating challenge for the area, that was not seen as a BJP stronghold till 2014. The BJP and its allies seek to retain power in the state in the wake of recent Lok Sabha polls victory.
Both the parties had contested separately in the 2014 election which depleted their numbers.
Voters can know their nearest polling station via a call, SMS, the voter helpline app or simply by logging in to www.nvsp.in.
By Rupa Burman Roy