Maharashtra poll process to start Friday


Mumbai : The stage is set for putting the election process in motion for the Oct 13 Maharashtra assembly polls with the opening of the nominations all over the state from Friday, an election official said.

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“As per the schedule announced last month by the Election Commission, the nominations shall open tomorrow (Friday) morning for all the 288 assembly seats in the state and continue for a week till next Friday (Sep 25). Scrutiny of applications will take place the following day and the last date for withdrawals is Tuesday, Sep 29,” the official told IANS Thursday evening.

He said that all necessary security arrangements, especially in sensitive areas, are in place.

The nominations shall be filed at all district collectors’ offices and local election offices across the state, including Mumbai.

Till date, there are 75.6 million voters eligible to exercise their franchise in the assembly elections in which the ruling Democratic Front combine of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is hoping to achieve a hat-trick.

The process of final revision of the electoral rolls in the state is also in the last stages and is expected to be completed by next week, he said.

Voting on Oct 13 polls shall be done on electronic voting machines (EVMs) in a little over 82,000 polling centres in the state, ranging from the posh areas of Mumbai to the remotest tribal villages in some backward districts of Vidarbha in eastern Maharashtra.

The counting of votes will be taken up Oct 22. The term of the Maharashtra assembly expires Nov. 3, by which time a new government will assume office.

All the major political parties are furiously working out last-minute seat adjustments to ensure they don’t miss the Sept 25 deadline to file nominations.

While the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine has more or less finalised its seat-sharing barring a few odd seats, the ruling Congress-NCP combine is on the verge of an agreements.

Though the Congess-NCP have held three days of marathon talks in Mumbai, there has been no final outcome so far. The stage is expected to shift to New Delhi Friday.

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Thursday announced it will contest all 288 seats in the state, while the newly-floated Third Front of the Republican parties and the left parties has so far decided to contest 200 seats.

Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sen (MNS) has announced it will contest 125 seats in the state.