The counting of votes in the Maharashtra Assembly election began at 8 am on Thursday. The voting for the 288-member Maharashtra assembly was held in a single-phase on October 21. A total of 3,237 candidates, including 235 women, are in the fray this time.
The big names whose fate will be decided on Thursday are sitting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis from Nagpur South-West, former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan. Ashok Chavan is in the fray from Bhokar in Nanded district, while Prithviraj contested from Karad South in Satara district.
All eyes will be on Aaditya Thackeray, the son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, as he has become the first person from Thackeray family to contest an election. Aaditya, 29, has entered the poll fray from Worli constituency in Mumbai.
Former Maharashtra deputy CM and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar is contesting from Baramati constituency, while Chhagan Bhujbal is seeking re-election on NCP ticket from Yeola assembly segment in Nashik district
In 2014 Assembly election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finished on top with 122 seats in its kitty, while its coalition partner Shiv Sena managed to win 63 seats. The Congress won 42 seats in 2014, while Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) emerged victorious on 41 seats.
This time, the BJP has fielded its candidates in 164 Assembly seats, including the candidates of smaller allies who are contesting on BJP's lotus symbol. The Shiv Sena has fielded its candidates in 124 seats. On the other hand, the Congress and NCP contested the election in alliance with the Congress fielding candidates in 147 seats and NCP in 121. The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is called the 'Mahayuti', while the Congress-NCP has named their alliance as the 'Maha-aghadi' (front). Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has named its candidates in 101 seats and a total of 1,400 Independents are also in the fray.