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Campaigning ends in 11 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra; Danve, Pankaja, Kolhe in fray

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NewsDrum Desk
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Mumbai, May 11 (PTI) Hectic campaigning marked by rallies and roadshows came to an end at 6 pm on Saturday in 11 constituencies of Maharashtra where polling will take place on May 13 in the fourth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

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The fate of 298 candidates including Union minister Raosaheb Danve of the BJP (in Jalna constituency), former state minister and BJP leader Pankaja Munde (Beed), actor Amol Kolhe of the NCP (SP) (Shirur, Pune district) and Sujay Vikhe Patil of the BJP (Ahmednagar) will be decided in the fourth phase where more than 2.28 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.

The 11 constituencies are spread across the central Marathwada as well as Northern and Western regions of Maharashtra.

Voting will take place from 7 am to 6 pm at 23,284 polling centres, according to data provided by the office of the state chief electoral officer.

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In Northern Maharashtra's Nandurbar (ST), where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a campaign rally on Friday in support of sitting MP Heena Gavit, the BJP and Congress are locked in a straight contest, while in Jalgaon, it is a BJP versus NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) battle.

In Raver in Jalgaon district too the BJP and the Sharad Pawar-led outfit are taking on each other.

In Marathwada, it is the BJP versus Congress in Jalna, and the Shiv Sena (UBT) versus Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena in Aurangabad. In Beed, the BJP has fielded Pankaja Munde instead of sitting MP and her younger sister Pritam Munde. Pankaja's main rival will be Bajrang Sonawane of the NCP (SP).

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In Western Maharashtra's Maval, the two rival Shiv Senas, led by former CM Uddhav Thackeray and his successor Shinde, are locked in a bitter fight post the 2022 split in the party.

In Pune city, the BJP and the Congress are the main contenders. In Shirur, actor Kolhe, who is the sitting MP, is pitted against Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil, who is contesting as candidate of the NCP led by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

After Baramati in Pune district, Shirur is another prestige battle for Ajit Pawar who has publicly stated that he wants to ensure the defeat of Kolhe.

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In Ahmednagar in western Maharashtra, the BJP's Sujay Vikhe Patil is taking on Nilesh Lanke of the NCP (SP). Lanke, MLA from Parner in Ahmednagar district, sided with Ajit Pawar when the NCP split in July 2023. However, he later returned to the Sharad Pawar camp.

In Shirdi constituency, where the famous Saibaba temple is located, the Shiv Sena led by Shinde is taking on the Shiv Sena (UBT).

There are 2,28,01,151 registered voters in the 11 constituencies covered in the fourth phase -- 1,18,59,645 male, 1,09,40,234 female and 1,272 of third gender.

Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after Uttar Pradesh (80). Of these, voting has been completed in 24 constituencies in the first three phases of elections. The fifth and final phase covering 13 seats will take place on May 20. PTI MR RSY KRK

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