Maharashtra has the second largest number of MPs at 48 in the Lok sabha. Which is why it becomes crucial to gauge the political mood of the state ahead of the upcoming 2019 elections. The state also becomes significant to both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
The importance of the state can also be seen by the fact that after five years of bickering, allegations, threats and blame game, the Shiv Sena and the BJP decided to fight the elections together once again.
The state elections are also scheduled to take place, soon after the general elections, which makes the voting patterns here even more significant.
BloombergQuint’s Tamanna Inamdar on the Primetime Debate talks to senior journalists Girish Kuber and Rohit Chandavarkar for their political insights on the state of Maharashtra.
Maharashtra Adds 1.19 Crore New Voters
Over 1.19 crore voters in the age group of 18 to 19 years will exercise their franchise for the first time in the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra, according to Election Commission (EC) data.
Lok Sabha polls to 48 seats in the state will be held in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
Out of the total 8,73,29,910 voters in the state, 1,19,95,027 are first-timers in the 18 to 19 years' age group, as per official figures.
Of the total voters, 4,57,01,877 are men, 4,16,25,950 women and 2,083 third gender voters.
An election official told PTI they received 12,31,027 applications online after publication of the voters' list a few months back.
Of these, 7,17,427 names have now been included in the voters' list.
Besides, 55.75 lakh applications were received offline, of which 43.51 lakh were accepted for registration, he said.
In Maharashtra, the ruling BJP and its ally Shiv Sena have agreed to contest 25 and 23 seats, respectively. The opposition Congress will fight in 26 seats, while its ally NCP will contest 22.
The opposition parties have announced names of some of their candidates.
Former BJP MP Nana Patole, who joined the Congress sometime back, will be pitted against Union minister Nitin Gadkari in Nagpur.
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde will contest from Solapur, while party leaders Milind Deora and Priya Dutt will fight from Mumbai-South and Mumbai-North Central seats, respectively.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule will contest from Baramati.
Besides, actor Amol Kolhe will contest on the NCP ticket from Shirur while senior party leader Ajit Pawar's son Parth Pawar has been nominated from Maval.
(With inputs from PTI)
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