"The 19 constituencies where voting is underway 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."
Mumbai, April 24 - Voting started peacefully for the third and final phase of elections to 19 Lok Sabha constituencies across Maharashtra here Thursday morning, officials said.

A total of 338 candidates, including 24 women - and 119 independents, are in the race.

Top industrialists, businessmen, film stars and socialites are expected to exercise their franchise alongside slumdwellers, tribals, fishermen and migrants.

Some of the important candidates trying their luck are: union Minister Milind Deora, former union minister Gurudas Kamat, ex-journalist Sanjay Nirupam, state Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, activists Medha Patkar, Mayank Gandhi and Vijay Pandhare, Bollywood personalities Mahesh Manjrekar, M.R. Kamal Khan, Rakhi Sawant, Poonam Mahajan, celeb hotelier Farhan A. Azmi, and Bala Nandgaonkar.

Over 3.17 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the elections which include 16 general and three reserved constituencies for Scheduled Tribes, spread across parts of northern Maharashtra, Marathwada and coastal Konkan region.

Aurangabad in Marathwada region has the maximum number of 27 candidates, while Nandurbar in north Maharashtra has just nine contenders.

Among the parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Aam Aadmi Party are contesting all the 19 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party and Samajwadi Party have up 11 candidates each.

The Congress has put up 10 nominees, the Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena eight each, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena seven, Communist Party - three and Communist Party of India two.

The largest constituency Thane in terms of electorate has 2.07 million voters, while Mumbai South-Central is the smallest with just 1.44 million voters.

As many as 262,725 polling personnel have been deployed across the state at 34,343 polling stations and in some areas of coastal Thane, they sailed by boats to polling booths.

In Mumbai, there are 3,141 polling stations being manned by 14,499 polling staff.

As many as 951 polling stations in the state have been identified as sensitive, including 98 in Mumbai.

The 19 constituencies where voting is underway 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.

The elections in the first two phases were held April 10 for 10 constituencies and April 17 for 19 constituencies.


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