Maharashtra polls: Vidarbha set to see multi-cornered fight

Set for Wednesday's Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Vidarbha region will witness a multi cornered contest for the 62 seats in the 11 districts of the region.

Nagpur: Set for Wednesday's Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Vidarbha region will witness a multi cornered contest for the 62 seats in the 11 districts of the region.

The campaign for the polls ended last evening on a peaceful note with no major law and order problem reported, barring stray incidents of seizure of cash and liquor.

The BJP's campaign which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking charge of the entire campaigning across the state held massive rallies in Gondia, Bramhapuri and Chandur Bazar.

BJP had also employed party national president Amit Shah, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh chief ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh, union minister Nitin Gadkari and state president Davendra Fadnavis to also pitch in for candidates.

For Congress, president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi were the star campaigners as they held public meetings in Bramhapuri, Gondia and temple town Ramtek.

Eyes will be on the South-west Nagpur constituency from where BJP's Devendra Fadnavis, who is seen as a potential candidate for the top job of chief minister's post, is pitted against Congress's Praful Gudadhe Patil.

Congress's senior leader Satish Chaturvedi and former Dairy Development Minister Anees Ahmad, both who lost in last assembly elections in 2009, will once again fight to win their seats. Congress's Nitin Raut, who is seeking re-election from North Nagpur seat will take on BJP's Milind Mane.

NCP leader and former Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anil Deshmukh will lock horns with his nephew Ashish Deshmukh of BJP, whose father Ranjeet Deshmukh is two times Pradesh Congress president.

Former president of India Pratibha Patil's son Rajendra Shekhawar is pitted against his arch rival Sunil Deshmukh who fought against him in 2009 and has now joined BJP.

The issue of demand of a separate Vidarbha state, which was not touched by both BJP and Congress in their campaign, was tapped by BSP supremo Mayawati, who assured to fulfil the demand.

The crucial issue of farmers' suicide in Yavatmal and other parts of the region too was sidelined by leaders of prominent parties, nor any concrete statements were given on it.

All the major political parties in the fray held rallies in almost all the 62 constituencies in Vidarbha region on the last day of campaign.

However, in several places of the naxal-hit Gadchiroli district candidates could not hold rallies due to Maoist threat of election boycott. The polling will take place between 7 AM and 3 PM in Gadchiroli.

During the last leg of the campaigning, prominent leaders of NCP, Shiv Sena and MNS gave capaigning a miss in the region.

BJP, on the other hand, had deployed Chauhan to campaign for BJP candidates at Paratwada, Warud, Daryapur and Dharni areas in Amravati district, bordering Madhya Pradesh while Chhattisgarh CM campaigned in Gondia district, bordering his state.

Congress's campaign in Vidarbha saw party president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi, former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and several senior leaders pitching in for their candidates.

Other prominent leaders who campaigned in the region included NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Tariq Anwar and Ajit Pawar led the campaign for their party.  

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