10.7 lakh first-time voters in Maharashtra

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Mumbai, Apr 13: An estimated 10.7 lakh out of the 7.89 crore voters in Maharashtra are in the age group of 18-19.

The state, which accounts for 48 Lok Sabha seats, had the first phase of voting covering ten constituencies in Vidarbha on April 10.

The rest would go to the poll in two more phases.

Over 62 per cent of the 1.66 crore voters in Vidarbha cast their votes last week where political heavyweights such as Union minister and NCP leader Praful Patel, BJP's Nitin Gadkari and senior Congress leader Mukul Wasnik are in the fray.

The second phase on April 17 would cover 19 constituencies. Union Home Minister and Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde (Solapur), BJP leader Gopinath Munde (Beed), former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan (Nanded) and Union Minister Pratik Patil (Sangli) would be facing the ballot test in this phase.

The third and the last phase on April 24 would cover the remaining 19 constituencies in Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, North Maharashtra and Marathwada.

According to the state election authorities, of the total 7,89,66,642 voters, 10,75,376 are in the age-group of 18 to 19 years. Thirty-five companies of central paramilitary forces have been sanctioned for the security in the state.

Union Home minister Shinde is contesting from Solapur. Ashok Chavan, who had to quit three years ago over the alleged involvement in the Adarsh Housing Scam, is the Congress candidate from his home turf of Nanded, while BJP leader Gopinath Munde is seeking a second term as MP from Beed.

Union minister of state Pratik Patil Pratik Patil (Cong) is seeking a second term from Sangli. BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, state Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray have campaigned for their respective party candidates, while Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will campaign from tomorrow.

BSP has fielded candidates in all the 19 seats, followed by NCP which is contesting 10, Congress 9, Shiv Sena 8, BJP 7, MNS 2, CPI and CPM 1 each. There are 36,879 polling stations, where 44,254 EVMs will be used for voting. Besides, nearly 2,76,592 polling personnel will be deployed during the voting process.

PTI

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