Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The stage is set for the Assembly elections in Maharashtra which will be held on Monday. While the BJP and its allies seek to return to power on the back of the recent victory in Lok Sabha polls, the Opposition hopes to turn the tide, banking on anti-incumbency.

Poll campaigning in Maharashtra concluded on Saturday with political parties making all-out efforts to woo voters through rallies and roadshows. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar were among the top leaders who campaigned in the state.

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BJP sharpened its narrative on nationalism in its campaign, with abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir emerging as its key poll plank. On the other hand, the Congress and NCP cornered the ruling party over the alleged economic slowdown and unemployment in the state.

The BJP is contesting the elections in alliance with Shiv Sena and other small regional parties. According to the seat-sharing formula, the BJP will be contesting on 150 seats while the Shiv Sena will be contesting on 124 seats. The two parties have left the remaining seats for other allies.

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The Congress, meanwhile, is contesting with the NCP. The two parties will contest on 125 seats each, leaving 38 seats for smaller allies.

It would be interesting to see whether the people of Maharashtra would repose their fate in the BJP-led NDA government or the Congress-NCP alliance will make a comeback in the state.

In 2014, the BJP and the Shiv had contested the elections separately with the saffron party getting 122 seats while the Shiv Sena won on 63 seats. The Congress and the NCP fought the election together and won 42 and 41 seats respectively.

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Meanwhile, the Election Commission has deployed 6.5 lakh polling staff for the 8,98,39,600 voters (4,28,43,635 women and 4,68,75,750 men) in Maharashtra and 1,35,021 VVPAT machines will be used in the election across 288 assembly constituency.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma