Voters in seven Lok Sabha seats of Maharashtra will exercise their right to vote in the first phase of General Elections on April 11. The seven constituencies from the state that will go to polls during the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections include Wardha, Ramtek, Nagpur, Bhandara-Gondiya, Gadchiroli-Chimur, Chandrapur, and Yavatmal-Washim.
The prominent parties contesting from these seven seats are Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena and Indian National Congress. The Aam Aadmi Party has decided not to contest Lok Sabha elections from Maharashtra this time.
After the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had won the Wardha, Nagpur, Bhandara-Gondiya, Gadchiroli-Chimur and Chandrapur seats, whereas Ramtek and Yavatmal-Washim seats went to Shiv Sena. Back then, the Congress party was the second largest party on almost all of these seats, except the Bhandara-Gondiya seat, where NCP held the second place.
From the Wardha seat, BJP has once again fielded Ramdas Chandrabhanji Tadas, the sitting MP for the constituency. Congress has given the ticket to Charulata Khajansing Tokas, instead of earlier candidate Meghe Sagar Dattatraya. Tadas had secured more than 53 per cent votes in the last elections.
For the Ramtek seat, BJP-ally Shiv Sena will also go with its sitting MP Krupal Balaji Tumane. Congress has fielded Kishore Uttamrao Gajbhiye from the constituency instead of Mukul Wasnik. Tumane had managed to sway over 49 per cent of votes in his favour during the last General Elections.
Nagpur will be seat to look out for as BJP stalwart and Union minister Nitin Gadkari will once again contest the Lok Sabha elections from here. Home to the RSS, this seat has seen mostly Congress MPs till 2014 when Gadkari won it for the BJP by defeating the four-time Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar. This time around, Congress has fielded BJP defector Nanabhau Patole, who had won Bhandara-Gondiya seat in 2014.
After Patole's defection, BJP has fielded Sunil Baburao Mendhe from Bhandara-Gondiya. The NCP, on the other hand, has given a ticket to Nana Jairam instead of Praful Patel. For the Gadchiroli-Chimur seat, BJP has once again fielded its sitting MP Ashok Mahadeorao Nete. Congress has also retained its candidate Namdeo Dalluji Usendi for the Gadchiroli-Chimur seat.
On the Chandrapur Lok Sabha constituency, BJP has once again given a ticket to Ahir Hansraj Gangaram, whereas the Congress party has fielded Dhanorkar Suresh Narayan. And from the Yavatmal-Washim seat, Shiv Sena has fielded Bhavana Pundlikrao Gawali, whereas Congress has given a ticket to Manikrao Govindrao Thakre.