Modi, Rahul to address rallies in Maharashtra on Friday

Mumbai, Apr 25 (PTI) With just three days to go for the campaigning to end for the fourth and final phase of the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will address public meetings in Maharashtra on Friday.
While Modi will address a rally at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai Friday evening, Gandhi will speak at Sangamner under Shirdi Lok Sabha constituency in Ahmednagar district around the same time.

In Maharashtra, the Congress president has so far addressed rallies in Nagpur, Wardha, Chandrapur, Nanded and held an interactive session with students in Pune.

When asked if the Congress central leadership had ignored Maharashtra and Mumbai as far as campaigning is concerned, the party’s Mumbai unit chief Milind Deora told PTI, “That’s not true. Maharashtra has a huge Congress presence and some of the most influential Congress leaders have come to the state for campaigning.”

“Congress president has a close watch on Maharashtra affairs and has given a very senior and seasoned in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge to guide us,” he said.

Deora, who is Congress’s candidate for the South Mumbai Lok Sabha seat, said regular meetings are being held with the leadership and intervention and direction is sought as and when required.

“Rahul ji’s understanding about the state is exceptional and it helps us immensely,” he said.

A senior party office-bearer said, “A meeting in Mumbai was not planned. Gandhi had addressed a rally in Mumbai in March before the poll dates were announced.”

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who has campaigned extensively across the state, has addressed meetings for Milind Deora in South Mumbai and Sanjay Dina Patil in North East Mumbai.

Total 323 candidates, including Union minister Subhash Bhamre, Congress nominees Milind Deora and Urmila Matondkar, are in the fray in the final phase of polling in Maharashtra covering 17 Lok Sabha constituencies on April 29.

More than 3.11 crore voters spread across these seats located in North Maharashtra, Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and parts of Western Maharashtra, are eligible to cast their vote.

The constituencies voting on April 29 are: Nandurbar, Dhule, Dindori, Nashik (North Maharashtra), Palghar, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Thane (located on Mumbai’s outskirts), Mumbai North, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai North-East, Mumbai South and Mumbai South-Central, Maval and Shirur (Pune district) and Shirdi (Ahmednagar district).