Polling on for Maharashtra's 10 LS seats
Polling was underway on Thursday for the 10 Lok Sabha seats spread mainly in Maharashtra's Vidarbha and Marathwada regions in the second phase of elections in the state despite glitches in VVPAT-EVMs in some areas.
The 10 constituencies are Buldhana, Akola, Amravati (SC), Hingoli, Nanded, Parbhani, Beed, Osmanabad, Latur (SC) and Solapur (SC).
The main contests are between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena and Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), besides the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), a Dalit-Muslim front.
There were reports of glitches in the VVPAT-EVMs in Nanded, Latur and Solapur which either delayed polling or stopped it midway. Unofficial reports said at least 75 EVMs were replaced with spare ones in different polling stations in Nanded alone.
Several heavyweight candidates are in the fray in the second phase elections including senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde against BJP's Mahaswami Jaisiddheshwar Shivacharya and VBA's Prakash Ambedkar in Solapur; Shiv Sena's Omraje Nimbalkar against NCP's Ranajagjitsinh Patil in Osmanabad; and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan versus BJP's Pratap Patil-Chikhalikar in Nanded.
The NCP's Bajrang M. Sonwane is pitted against BJP's Pritam Gopinath Munde, who secured the highest-ever victory margin of over 696,000 votes in the 2014 by-elections after her father and Union Minister Gopinath Munde's accidental death.
The total eligible electorate for the 10 seats is 1,85,46,036. IANS