Maharashtra Lok Sabha Election 2024: Key constituencies and candidates in first phase

April 18,2024

Of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, five constituencies including Chandrapur, Bhandara-Gondiya, Gadchiroli-Chimur, Ramtek and Nagpur will go to polls in the first phase of 2024 general elections on April 19.

As per Election Commission of India (ECI), there are a total of 97 candidates in the fray and their fate will be decided by 95,54,667 registered voters comprising 48,28,142 males, 47,26,178 females and 347 transgender persons.

The poll-body has also setup a total of 10,652 polling stations with 21,527 ballot units, 13, 963 control units, and 14,755 VVPAT machines available.

Also, in the first phase, a total of 9,416 differently-abled voters and 6,630 senior citizens above 85 years are eligible to cast their votes and the election commission has made special arrangements for them.

In view of the law and order, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) units have been deployed at sensitive polling centers. In the Gadchiroli-Chimur constituency, voting will take place from 7 AM to 3 PM.

Political Dynamics

With its 48 Lok Sabha seats, the state ranks as the second-largest contributor to the lower house of Parliament, following Uttar Pradesh.

Renowned for its diverse political landscape and substantial impact on elections, Maharashtra holds a pivotal position in shaping the country’s political landscape.

It serves as a battleground for numerous political factions, encompassing both regional entities and national parties such as the BJP, NCP, and Congress.

The 2019 elections witnessed a diverse range of wins for different political parties throughout Maharashtra, as BJP, Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress each clinched numerous seats.

Key candidates

Nitin Gadkari, the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister from Maharashtra, aims for a third consecutive victory from the Nagpur seat.

In 2014, he secured a win over seven-time MP Vilas Muttemwar by a margin of 2.84 lakh votes. He retained the seat in 2019 by defeating the then Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole with a margin of 2.16 lakh votes.

In the Vidarbha region, Chandrapur has historically been the arena for a direct electoral contest between the two major national parties. In the 2019 election, the Congress party succeeded in wresting the seat from the BJP, which had maintained control since 2004. Suresh ‘Balu’ Dhanorkar emerged victorious, defeating the incumbent three-time MP Hansraj Gangaram Ahir.

However, BJP this time has nominated Sudhir Mungantiwar, a six-time MLA and State Minister hailing from the micro-minority Vaishya community, as its candidate for the Lok Sabha seat.

Kishore Gajbhiye, formerly a bureaucrat and now a politician, has joined the competition with backing from the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi led by Prakash Ambedkar in Ramtek Rajya Sabha seat.