Stage set for high-stake elections in Maharashtra, Haryana

Stage set for high-stake elections in Maharashtra, Haryana

By: || Updated: 14 Oct 2014 04:22 PM
New Delhi: Maharashtra and Haryana are all set to go to polls tomorrow to elect their assemblies in high-stakes elections seen as the first major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity after the Lok Sabha polls as he pitched for BJP coming to power on its own in both the states.


This will also be the first elections in Maharashtra after established political formations -- Shiv Sena-BJP and Cong-NCP -- crumbled and the parties will be contesting alone after 15 years. Congress and NCP had ruled the state for 15 continuous years from 1999.


In Haryana too, the BJP junked its allies and plumped for majority on its own to dislodge Congress that had been ruling the state for the last 10 years.


The polling will begin at 7 AM and conclude at 6 PM. Counting of votes will be held on October 19.


The high stakes in the elections could be seen from the fact that Modi addressed 38 rallies in a period of 10 days in both the states in a campaign that virtually became Modi versus the rest.


The Congress campaign in both the states was spearheaded by party president Sonia Gandhi while for the NCP it was Sharad Pawar and for Shiv Sena it was father-son combination of Uddhav Thackeray and Aditya.


Maharashtra will witness a five-cornered contest for the 288-member House. An electorate of about 8.25 crore can choose from 4,119 candidates in the fray, including 1,699 Independents.


While Congress has fielded the largest number of 287 candidates, BJP 280 (including 23 of allies contesting on BJP symbol), Shiv Sena 282, NCP 278 and MNS 219.

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