The campaign for the Maharashtra Assembly elections tomorrow has turned out to be one of the most violent ever, with bloody attacks on candidates and supporters. The violent incidents increased in the last couple of days of the campaign.
A Bharatiya Janata Party worker was killed after being fired at during a poll rally in Akkalkot constituency of Solapur district on September 26. Alleging that the killing was at the behest of minister of state for rural development Siddharam Mhetre, Congress candidate from Akkalkot, the BJP demanded his arrest.
In the second such incident ahead of the elections, a relative of Nationalist Congress Party candidate from Solapur district was fired at on October 10. Unidentified persons fired at the Hanmant Bagal, brother-in-law of NCP nominee Shamaltai Bagal from Karmala, after a poll rally.
A Shiv Sena candidate escaped unhurt in firing by unknown persons while his car driver suffered bullet injuries in Pune On Sunday. Ajay Bhosale, contesting from Vadgaon-Sheri constituency, was heading for a rally venue in posh Koregaon Park area when motorbike-borne assailants opened fire. Bhosle alleged that his NCP rival Bapu Pathare was behind the attack.
The police registered cases against 50 persons on Sunday, including the brother and son of NCP minister Babanrao Pachpute, in connection with attack on the supporter of an independent candidate in Shrigonda constituency.
Cases have been registered against Pratap, brother of the minister and Vikram, Babanrao's son, after the attack on the vehicle of Balasaheb Nahata, a supporter of Anna Shelar, the independent candidate, police said.
In Sangola constituency of Solapur, Congress rebel Shrikant Deshmukh was fired at on Sunday night on the Sangola-Hatod road. The bullet grazed Deshmukh's ear, police said. Deshmukh was travelling in a Scorpio which came under fire from a passing black Jeep, they said.
In Karad constituency of western Maharashtra, Sena candidate Vasudev Mane and his driver were attacked with rods by miscreants on October 10 while he was on way to Masur from Rahimatpur.
In Thane, the NCP candidate's car was attacked on Sunday night at Murbad. MLA Kisan Kathore was returning home after poll campaign when his car was attacked by unknown persons, police said, adding that the legislator's bodyguard fired two rounds in the air. Meanwhile, reacting to the firing on party candidate, Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray said, "We will hang the assailants publicly after our government comes to power."