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Parties gear up for Maharasthra's last phase polls

Posted on Apr 18 2014 | IANS

Mumbai, April 18 : Political parties are now preparing for the last phase of polling in Maharasthra's 19 constituencies April 24.

Aam Aadmi Party's state leader Anjali Damania embarked on a hectic day of rallies, marches and campaigning for her party's Mumbai North candidate, Satish Jain, here Friday.

Over the next three days, she and other top AAP functionaries are expected to extensively campaign in all the constituencies of Mumbai, and later she will move to Konkan and north Maharashtra constituencies going to polls next Thursday, an AAP official said.

For the Congress, Sunday will be a big day as party chief Sonia Gandhi arrives in the state on her only second trip to Maharashtra and first in Mumbai for the ongoing 2014 Lok Sabha elections, party spokesperson Sachin Sawant said.

"The Congress president addressed two rallies in Vidarbha during Phase I elections (April 10), and now there are three major rallies scheduled for Phase III in Mumbai and north Maharashtra," Sawant told IANS.

Sonia Gandhi will address rallies in Congress bastions Nandurbar and Dhule and then in Mumbai the same evening, where the party is hoping to mobilize over four lakh supporters.

The bonus will be the participation of all allies, including Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar and other Dalit parties which have recently joined the UPA fold.

Monday is of significance for the Bharatiya Janata Party as its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will address his first rally in Mumbai.

The BJP is hoping to put up a massive show of strength before Modi, which would rival that of Gandhi the previous evening, said an official.

Ally Shiv Sena's chief Uddhav Thackeray will hold a major rally in Kalyan (Thane) Friday evening.

This will be followed by his rallies at Raigad, Thane and Mumbai over the next three days - the last one sharing a dais with Modi.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's Raj Thackeray is also busy travelling to the 10 constituencies where the party has put up candidates with rallies in Pune, Kalyan, Thane, Nashik and other places, over the next few days.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi made nearly half a dozen trips to the state and addressed a series of rallies in the past two months.

After the encouraging voter turnout in the first two phases - April 10 for 10 Lok Sabha seats, April 17 for 19 constituencies - all parties are striving their most for success in the 19 constituencies that go to polls Apri 24.

The political fate of as many as 338 candidates will be decided in the final phase of the polls in the state, at 43,343 polling stations.

The constituencies going to polls are Aurangabad, Bhiwandi, Dindori, Dhule, Jalgaon, Jalna, Kalyan, Mumbai North, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North-East, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai South-Central, Mumbai South, Nandurbar, Nashik, Palghar, Raver, Raigad and Thane.

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