National & International

Maharashtra Elections: Reluctant Allies BJP, Shiv Sena Seek Second Term

Mumbai: As Maharashtra begins voting for assembly polls on Monday, the Bhartiya Janata Party and its primary ally Shiv Sena are seeking a second term in power. After a sweeping victory in the Lok Sabha elections just a few months ago, the BJP is hoping to replicate the result.

Maharashtra has 288 legislative assembly seats, the second-highest after Uttar Pradesh with 403. In Maharashtra, the BJP is contesting 150 seats, while the Shiv Sena will contest 124. The remaining 14 seats have been distributed to their smaller allies.

The Congress is contesting 146 seats, while its ally, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), has fielded its candidates in 117 seats. Another opposition party, which is contesting independently in the state, is the newly floated Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). The party, led by veteran leader and Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar, is contesting 280 seats.

The Sena-BJP, along with other allies, currently hold 217 seats in the state. The Congress and the NCP have 56 seats and the VBA is making its debut during this election.

Only one round of polling will be held the counting will be carried out three days later on October 24. The state has over 8.9 crore eligible voters, of which 1.17 lakh are service voters.