Mumbai, Jan 30 (IANS): Peaceful polling got underway for the elections to the five MLC seats in different parts of Maharashtra with voting on a dull to brisk pace in different constituencies, here on Monday.
The polling was taken up for the Nashik and Amravati Graduates' constituencies, and Nagpur, Aurangabad and Konkan Teachers' constituencies, with the government side and the Opposition engaged in a keen contest to wrest the seats.
There's largely a straight fight between the ruling Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BSS-BJP) and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance of Congress-Nationalist Congress Party-Shiv Sena (UBT).
As per the latest voting figures till noon, Amravati notched around 20 per cent while Nashik clocked over 40 per cent votes, and it was average in other constituencies.
The results of the biennial elections shall be announced on Thursday, February 2, with the terms of all the sitting MLCs ending on February 7.
After keeping a suspense till the last minute, the BJP late on Sunday finally announced its support to the Congress rebel Satyajeet Tamble, contesting as an independent from Nashik with his main rival, BJP's rebel and now MVA-backed Shubhangi Patil.
Nashik suddenly shot to prominence last fortnight when the Congress' official nominee and three-time MLC Sudhir Tambe did not file his nomination and instead propped up his son Satyajeet Tambe as an independent candidate.
Stunned by the defiance, the party hit back by suspending Sudhir Tambe, expelling his son Satyajeet Tambe and followed up by en masse sacking the Ahmednagar District Congress Committee.
In Nagpur, the main battle is between sitting MLC Nago Ganar, contesting as Independent supported by the BJP, against Congress' MVA-backed Sudhakar Adbale of Vidarbha Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh. Shikshak Bharti's Rajendra Zade and NCP rebel Satish Itkelwar are also in the fray.
In Amravati, sitting BJP MLC Ranjeet Patil is contesting against Congress' MVA nominee Dhiraj Lingade.
In Aurangabad, sitting NCP MLC Vikram Kale is locking horns with BJP's Kiran Patil.
In Konkan, the MVA-supported Peasants & Workers Party's sitting MLC Balaram Patil is pitted against BJP's Dnyaneshwar Mhatre.