Long Queues at Polling Booths as Maharashtra and Haryana Vote

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Maharashtra and Haryana went to polls on Wednesday to elect their assemblies in high-stakes elections seen as the first major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Lok Sabha polls as he pitched for BJP coming to power on its own in both the states.

The BJP decided to fight these elections alone and has put all its eggs in the Narendra Modi basket, counting on the Prime Minister’s popularity to wrest both states from the Congress, which has ruled them for years.

Maharashtra went to polls on 288 assembly seats.

This will also be the first elections in Maharashtra after established political formations — Shiv Sena-BJP and Cong-NCP — crumbled and the parties will be contesting alone after 15 years. Congress and NCP had ruled the state for 15 continuous years from 1999.

In Haryana. three major parties — the Congress, the BJP and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) — seem to be locked in a neck-and-neck race.

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