Lok Sabha / In a first, Maharashtra to have Lok Sabha polls in four phases

Livemint : Mar 11, 2019, 01:16 PM

In the first phase 7 constituencies will go to polls, 10 constituencies in 2nd phase, 14 in 3rd phase and 6 in final phase. Maharashtra, the second largest state after Uttar Pradesh in terms of the number of MPs it sends to the Lok Sabha, will have Lok Sabha polls in four phases from April 11 to April 29. This is the first time 48 parliamentary constituencies in Maharashtra will go to polls in four phases.

 Maharashtra, the second largest state after Uttar Pradesh in terms of the number of MPs it sends to the Lok Sabha, will have Lok Sabha polls in four phases from April 11 to April 29. This is the first time 48 parliamentary constituencies in Maharashtra will go to polls in four phases. In 2014, Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra were held in three phases. The Election Commission of India on Sunday announced the schedule of Lok Sabha elections 2019 and assembly elections in four states. None of the four days of polling in Maharashtra is a Sunday.

On April 11 which is the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, 7 constituencies in Maharashtra will go to polls. These are Nagpur, Chandrapur, Bhandara-Gondia, Wardha, Ramtek, Yavatmal-Washim, and Gadchiroli-Chimur all in the Vidarbha region. The Gadchiroli-Chimur and Bhandara-Gondia constituencies are partially affected by the Naxal insurgency and according to the Election Commission they will join other Left wing insurgency affected constituencies across the country in the first phase. Nagpur is senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and union minister Nitin Gadkari’s constituency. Wardha and Yavatmal-Washim are significant for their agrarian crisis and farm suicides.

In the second phase on April 18, 10 constituencies will have elections. These include three constituencies in Vidarbha—Buldhana, Akola, and Amravati, and six in adjoining Marathwada—Hingoli, Nanded, Parbhani, Beed, Osmanabad, and Latur, and Solapur in south Maharashtra will go to polls. Akola will see Prakash Ambedkar, president of Bharipa-Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) who has teamed up with the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), to contest again. Nanded is Maharashtra Congress president and former chief minister Ashok Chavan’s constituency though he has not declared his candidature so far. From Solapur, another Congress stalwart and former chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is likely to contest again.