MUMBAI: Preparations have geared up ahead of by-elections in two Lok Sabha seats - Palghar and Bhandara-Gondia of Maharashtra which is slated to be held on May 28, Tuesday. The polling will be conducted from 7 am to 6 pm and the counting will be done on May 31.
While around 4,119 security personnel will be deployed for the Palghar Lok Sabha by-polls, 12,894 government employees would be engaged in election duty. Of 2,097 polling centres, 14 have been identified as "critical", and extra security would be provided in these places.
As many as 18 candidates are in fray in Bhandara- Gondia and seven in Palghar. There are total 3,49,1218 voters. The BJP and Shivsena are in a close fight to win the Palghar Lok Sabha seat. The by-election in Palghar was necessitated due to the death of BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga.
The main contenders in Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha seat are the BJP and NCP. In Bhandra-Gondia, Nana Patole quit as the BJP MP and resigned from the ruling party to return to the Congress earlier this year, necessitating the by-election.
The BJP is confident of retaining the two seats while the opposition feels setbacks to the ruling party in the bypoll would boost the vigour of the 'anti-BJP camp' and lead to new alignments in state politics.
The ruling party has locked horns with the NCP for retaining the Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha seat while in Palghar, it is in a direct fight with the ally Shiv Sena even though the contest is multi-cornered.
(With inputs from PTI)