Elections for Maharashtra's 288 assembly seats will be held on October 21, with a total of 3,239 candidates from a multitude of parties in the fray. The main contests shall be between the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena and Opposition Congress-NCP alliances.
The Election Commission has planned to use 1,79,895 ballot units and 1,26,505 control units at 96,661 polling stations.
The counting will be held on October 24.
The Maharashtra Assembly election will for the first time witness use of VVPAT (voter-verifiable paper audit trail) machines. Total 1,35,021 VVPAT machines will be used.
The EC has decided to conduct live webcasting from over 9,000 polling stations, including sensitive ones, during the next week's Maharashtra Assembly elections.
The ruling BJP-Sena combine led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is beaming because of recent grand victory in the Lok Sabha elections, in which it won 41 out of 48 seats.
In its manifesto for Maharashtra, BJP raised the demand for the Bharat Ratna honour for Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, one of the tallest Hindutva icons in the pantheon of Sangh Parivar.
The BJP, seeking a second straight term, also promised the creation of "one crore" jobs in the next five years, providing houses for all by 2022 and ushering in $1 trillion economy in its "sankalp patra" released by the party working president J P Nadda on October 15.
The Congress-NCP alliance is fighting the ruling party on issues of economic slowdown, unemployment, farm distress and mismanagement of the economy.
In their joint manifesto released on October 7, the Congress and the NCP combine promised monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 for the unemployed youth and a minimum salary of Rs 21,000 a month for workers if voted to power.
Apart from CM Fadnavis, Pankaja Munde, Aditya Thackeray, Chandrakant Patil and Sudhir Mumngantiwar are the other key candidates from BJP-Sena alliance.
From Congress and NCP, Prithviraj Chavan, Ashish Deshmukh, Ajit Pawar and Ashok Chavan are key candidates.
Besides, there are forces like Prakash Ambedkar's Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi contesting all the 288 assembly seats.
There are also others - Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Vidarbha Sangharsh Samiti, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen among others e who will be competing with the Maha-Aghadi and VBA in many seats.