Lok Sabha election 2019: Polling for 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in the BJP-ruled Maharashtra has started today. A high-voltage campaign for 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state had ended on Sunday. The fate of as many as 249 candidates will be sealed in the ballot in phase 3. Major parties in the fray are the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena. The seats going to polls in phase 3 are Jalgaon and Raver (both in north Maharashtra), Jalna and Aurangabad (Marathwada), Raigad and Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg (Konkan), Pune, Baramati, Madha, Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Ahmednagar (south Maharashtra) and Hathkanangale (western Maharashtra).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addressed several rallies in these Lok Sabha constituencies. While NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, whose party has an alliance with the Congress, campaigned for his party's candidates in Satara, Sangli, Madha, and Kolhapur, state Congress chief Ashok Chavan also held rallies in many of the seats going to poll today.
As part of the pre-poll alliance, the Congress has fielded candidates in Raver, Jalna, Aurangabad, Pune and Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seats while the NCP candidates are in the fray in Jalgaon, Raigad, Madha, Ahmednagar, Satara and Kolhapur. Prominent candidates contesting polls include state BJP President Raosaheb Danve, who is pitted against Congress' Vilas Autade in Jalna and Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule, who is contesting against BJP's Kanchan Kul from Baramati.
In Ahmednagar, Sujay Vikhe Patil of the BJP, the son of Congress veteran Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, will contest against NCP's Sangram Jagtap. He joined the BJP before polls after the NCP had declined to vacate the seat for the Congress party.
Bhonsle Shrimant Chhatrapati Udayanraje Pratapsinh Maharaj of NCP, who is contesting from Satara, is the second richest candidate in phase 3 with over Rs 199 crore assets. SP's Devender Singh Yadav from Etah, UP, is the richest candidate with assets worth Rs 204 crore, while Praveen Singh Aron is the third richest candidate having assets worth Rs 147 crore. Of total 1,612 candidates contesting polls in phase 3, as many as 340 candidates are those with criminal charges registered against them, while 392 are crorepatis.
Apart from Maharashtra, phase 3 polling will be held in UP, Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Daman and Diu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, and Jammu and Kashmir.