Maharashtra battle lines drawn: 288 seats, 4,117 candidates

 Battle lines have been drawn in Maharashtra, where as many as 4,117 candidates are in the fray for 288 Assembly seats which will go to the polls on October 15 as major parties get ready for campaign blitzkrieg.

Mumbai: Battle lines have been drawn in Maharashtra, where as many as 4,117 candidates are in the fray for 288 Assembly seats which will go to the polls on October 15 as major parties get ready for campaign blitzkrieg.

A total 7,646 nominations were received by the Election Commission which found 6,496 of them valid after scrutiny.

Of them, 2,379 candidates withdrew their nomination, leaving 4,117 in the poll scenario. Yesterday was the last day of withdrawal of papers.

The highest number of candidates (39) are in Nanded South, while the lowest (5 each) are contesting from Guhaghar and Akole segments.

As many as 8.33 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise at 9,1427 polling stations. Counting of votes will take place on October 19.

A multi-cornered poll battle is on the cards in Maharashtra, where four parties--Congress, Shiv Sena, BJP and NCP--will take on each other after their respective alliances came apart as they failed to reach seat-sharing arrangements.

Raj Thackeray-led MNS, which had fared poorly in the Lok Sabha elections, will be another party which will be keenly watched in these polls.

Congress and BJP have roped in their senior leaders, including Chief Ministers, for campaigning which is expected is pick up momentum in the coming days.

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