The Times of India

NAGPUR: In 2009 state assembly elections, the winners won by average 44% of total votes polled, according to statistics presented by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

This time, according to poll analysts, this percentage is set to drop drastically in majority of constituencies following split between BJP and Shiv Sena, and Congress and NCP. The breakdown has thrown interesting equations and ensured that upcoming elections on October 15 would witness a multi-cornered fight. The battle, to be mostly fought between five major political parties - Congress, BJP, Shiv Sena, NCP and MNS - apart from the independents, would certainly split the voters.

Analysts added that out of the total 288 constituencies, many would witness neck-to-neck fight which would lead to drop in winning percentage. Citing statistics, ADR report mentioned that in 2009, 89/288 (31%) contestants had won with less than 40% of total votes while 66 (23%) emerged triumphant with 50% or more. Only 13 candidates won with less than 30% total votes polled in their constituencies, which included two from Vidarbha - Sanjay Gawande from Shiv Sena who pulled 26% votes from Akot in Akola and Anil Bonde who attracted 27% of total votes from Amravati as an independent.

Congress' Nirmala Gavit who contested from Igatpuri pulled just 23% of total votes but still emerged victorious while former chief minister Ashok Chavan got highest vote share of 80% of total votes from Bhokar constituency. He is followed by Shivendrasinh Bhonsle of NCP from Satara who polled 78% votes, and former deputy CM Ajit Pawar, who got 68% votes from Baramati.

In 12 constituencies of Nagpur district, BJP's Krishna Khopde, who pulled off a sensational win against former minister and five-time MLA Satish Chaturvedi, leads the pack with 55% vote share in 2009 election, followed by state BJP President Devendra Fadnavis (South West) with 51% and Chandrashekhar Bawankule (Kamptee) and Sudhir Parwe (Umred) with 49% each. Former cabinet ministers like Nitin Raut (North) and Anil Deshmukh (Katol) had won 37% and 42% votes respectively.

Except BJP's Vijay Ghodmare (Hingna), who surrendered his ticket to veteran politician Datta Meghe's son Sameer, all 11 sitting MLAs from the district are again contesting the elections. Of them, Dinanath Padole has filed nomination from Nagpur South on the NCP ticket after begin denied chance by the Congress.

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