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The Battle for Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Counting of votes on Saturday

October 15, 2004 10:39 IST

Counting of votes for the Maharashtra assembly polls held on October 13 will take place on Saturday under tight security arrangements.

"The counting will begin at 8 am and the entire process is expected to be completed by 2 pm," chief electoral officer U P S Madan told PTI in Mumbai.

Adequate arrangements have been made for speedy declaration of results of the 288 constituencies. Over 60% of the 6.59 crore electorate exercised their franchise to seal the fate of 2,678 candidates.

Prominent candidates in fray include Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is seeking re-election from Solapur-south assembly constituency, Deputy Chief Minister Vijaysingh Mohite-Patil (Malshiras).

Three former chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh (Latur), Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar (Nilanga), both Congress, and Narayan Rane of Shiv Sena (Malvan) are also in the fray.

While Deshmukh is taking on his old rival Shivajirao Patil Kavhekar, who had defeated the ex-CM in the 1995 polls, Nilangekar is being challenged by his grandson Sambhaji, who is contesting on a BJP ticket. Rane's main rival is Vijay Sawant (Congress).

Former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, whose political future hinges on a victory, has contested from the Yevla assembly constituency while his son Pankaj is seeking to make an entry to the Vidhan Sabha from Mazgaon in Mumbai.

Another former deputy chief minister Gopinath Munde, who is also the BJP state unit chief, is up against his former associate, Phulchand Karad, in Renapur.

Former MPCC chief Ranjit Deshmukh, a staunch protagonist of statehood for Vidarbha, has contested from Nagpur-West assembly constituency.

Mumbai don-turned-politician Arun Gawli (Chinchpokli) and brother of underworld don Chhota Rajan, Deepak Nikalje (Chembur), former TADA detenues Pappu Kalani (Ulhasnagar) and Hitendra Thakur (Vasai) are also in the electoral fray.

The Congress has fielded 157 candidates, NCP 124, BJP 111 and Shiv Sena 163.

Among the major parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party has contested the highest number of 272 seats in the state while the Samajwadi Party has fielded 95 candidates.

"The counting centres would be spread over various locations across the state. There would be one counting centre for each of the 288 assembly constituencies," Madan said.

Elaborating on the various arrangements made for displaying the trends and results on counting day, he said that two giant screens would be set up in the Mantralaya compound and another screen in the conference hall for media personnel.

"This time, the Election Office would also provide graphics, comparative results and analysis of the results based on the incoming data from various centres.

"All the backup data has been fed into the system and the same would be utilised for providing a more comprehensive picture of the voting pattern and scenario," Madan added.

Those with complaints and grievances regarding the polling process could register the same with the concerned returning officers.

Check out the constituencies/candidates in this interactive map

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