Mumbai goes to vote in final phase April 30


Mumbai : About 13.9 million voters will exercise their franchise in 10 constituencies in Maharashtra in the third and final phase of the Lok Sabha polls Thursday. Six of the 10 constituencies fall in Mumbai while the remaining four are in adjacent Thane district.

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The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combines are locked in the main tussle in all the seats.

Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is trying to open an account in the state by contesting for nine seats (of the total 12 it is contesting).

In the fray for the 10 seats are 196 candidates, including 17 women.

The Congress is pitted against the BJP in four constituencies – Palghar, Bhiwandi, Mumbai North and Mumbai North-Central – and against the Shiv Sena in three – Mumbai South, Mumbai South-Central and Mumbai North-West.

The NCP will lock horns with the BJP in Mumbai North-East and against the Shiv Sena in two constituencies – Kalyan and Thane.

Contesting from one constituency each are the Samajwadi Party (Mumbai North-West), Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (Mumbai South-Central), the Indian Union Muslim League (Palghar) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (Kalyan).

Prominent contestants in the fray are sitting MPs Milind Deora and Priya Dutt (both Congress), state Congress general secratary Gurudas Kamat and former Shiv Sena MP and now Congress nominee Sanjay Nirupam.

The BJP has former union minister Ram Naik, prominent criminal lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani and former Mumbai party chief Kirit Somaiya while former state minister Gajanan Kirtikar and Five-time MP Mohan Rawale are the Shive Sena candidates.

The third phase will also decide the electoral fortunes of former state minister Bala Nandgaonkar (MNS) and Rajya Sabha MP Abu Asim Azmi (Samajwadi Party).

Professionals have also plunged into the poll arena this time with ABN Amro Bank’s India head Meera H. Sanyal, an independent candidate in Mumbai South, leading the pack.

The recently-launched Professionals Party of India (PPI) has put up Mona Shah, a surgeon, in Mumbai South, and Rajendra Thacker, a businessman, in Mumbai North.

The state has 48 Lok Sabha constituencies.