In what has been dubbed a ‘mini assembly’ poll and a referendum on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra is voting for the crucial Municipal Corporation elections on Tuesday.
Major Player Shiv Sena is battling out all alone this time after the first time in over two decades after they broke away from BJP’s alliance. The Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena are also key players in the high-profile city battle in Mumbai and Pune
Elections for the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation and Municipal Corporations of Thane, Pune and Nashik, 11 Zilla Parishads and 118 Panchayat Samitis are underway.
“The election machinery is fully geared up and we shall ensure free and fair voting across the state,” said State Election Commissioner J.S. Saharia, urging the electorate to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
At total of 3.77 crore voters shall decide the fate of 17,331 candidates for 5,512 seats up for grabs, including 1,268 in 10 municipal corporations, 2,956 in 11 Zilla Parishads and 1,288 seats in 118 Panchayat Samitis.
Besides, the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and several regional and local parties have put up candidates.
All the parties have been engaged in a high-decibel, no-holds barred, vicious campaign, hurling allegations and counter-allegations in the past few weeks.
The campaign saw the participation of union ministers for the BJP, top leaders like Fadnavis, Uddhav Thackeray, Ashok Chavan, Sharad Pawar, Raj Thackeray, Abu Asim Azmi and the Owaisi brothers.
The polling in the first phase across Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis was completed peacefully on February 16. The results for both the phases shall be declared on Thursday.