The polling will begin at 7 AM and conclude at 6 PM. Counting of votes will be held on October 19, poll officials said.

The elections will elect members of the 13th Vidhan Sabha in the state.

Prominent candidates in the poll arena include former Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and former ministers R R Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal of NCP, Devendra Fadnavis, Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde of BJP, Subhash Desai, Suresh Jain and Deepak Kesarkar of Shiv Sena, former ministers Patangrao Kadam, Shivajirao Moghe and Rajendra Darda of Congress and Bala Nandgaonkar of MNS.

Of the 4,119 candidates in the electoral fray, 3,843 are men and 276 women. Of the 288 constituencies, including 36 constituencies in Mumbai, 234 are general, 29 reserved for scheduled castes and 25 for scheduled tribes.

There are 83 constituencies having more than 15 candidates and a constituency where there are more than 32 candidates.

Out of the total 8,35,38,114 voters, 4,40,26,401 are men and 3,93,63,011 women. There are 984 voters in the "others" category. The number of service voters is 1,47,718.

Nanded South has the maximum 39 candidates, while Akole and Guhagar have the minimum five candidates each.

BJP has fielded 280 candidates, BSP 260, CPI 34, CPM 19, Congress 287, NCP 278, Shiv Sena 282 and MNS has fielded 219.

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