Second phase of polling begins in Maharashtra

Mumbai, April 23 (Inditop) Polling started on a peaceful note in 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in the second phase of elections in Maharashtra Thursday morning, election officials said.

Around 37.7 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to elect 25 representatives out of 372 candidates, including 20 women.

These include several central and state ministers, formar royals, sitting and former parliamentarians, a former bureaucrat, an ascetic, top party leaders and their gen-next.

Among the stalwarts whose fate will be decided include prime ministerial hopeful and central minister Sharad Pawar (Madha) as well as central ministers A.R. Antulay (Raigad) and Sushil Kumar Shinde (Solapur).

Also in the fray is the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) strongman Gopinath Munde, attempting to make his mark after the death of his brother-in-law, the late Pramod Mahajan, and Congress strongman from Pune Suresh Kalmadi.

A key ally of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Republican Party of India’s (RPI) Ramdas Athawale is also seeking re-election, as also former bureaucrat Arun Bhatia through his Peoples Guardian Party in Pune.

The constituencies going to the polls Thursday are Nandurbar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Raver, Jalna, Aurangabad, Dindori, Nashik, Raigad, Maval, Pune, Baramati, Shirur, Ahmednagar, Shirdi, Beed, Latur, Osmanabad, Solapur, Madha, Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Hatknangle and Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg.