The Maharashtra poll scene presents an interesting picture with candidates from varied backgrounds - from royal families, celebrities to fourth estate - trying to enter the assembly's hallowed corridors and shape the state''s destiny over the next five years.
A total of 3,239 candidates are in the fray for 288 seats, polling for which will be held on October 21, but the main fight is likely to be between the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and the opposition Congress-NCP combine.
Shivendrasinhraje Bhosale, a descendant of the family of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who recently switched from the NCP to the BJP, has been given ticket from Satara and is pitted against former party colleague Deepak Pawar.
Shivendrasinhraje Bhosale is a three-time MLA and his father Abhaysinhraje Bhosale had represented the seat several times. Shivendrasinhraje Bhosale's cousin Udayanraje Bhosale is contesting the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll as the BJP candidate. Udayanraje Bhosale was earlier in the NCP.
Pune mayor and BJP leader Mukta Tilak, the wife of Shailesh Tilak, the great grandson of revolutionary freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, is in the fray from Kasba Peth in Pune. She is taking on Congress candidate Arvind Shinde.
In Mumbai, journalist Yuvraj Mohite is contesting from Goregaon on a Congress ticket. He had deposed before the Justice B N Srikrishna Commission, that probed the Mumbai riots in 1992-93.
Mr Mohite is pitted against BJP's Vidya Thakur, who is Minister of State for Women and Child Development.
Marathi actress Deepali Sayyad, who had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls on an AAP ticket, has joined the Shiv Sena.
She has been nominated from Mumbra-Kalwa against NCP MLA and former minister Jitendra Ahwad, a close aide of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Actor Ajaz Khan, of 'Bigg Boss' fame, is contesting from the Byculla seat in Mumbai as an independent candidate.
He is taking on lawyer and sitting AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan.
The other key candidate in the fray in Byculla is Geeta Gawli of the Akhil Bharatiya Sena. She is the daughter of jailed underworld don Arun Gawli, a former MLA.
From Worli, Marathi 'Bigg Boss' participant Abhijeet Bichukale is in the fray against Shiv Sena youth leader Aaditya Thackeray.
Similarly, there are candidates who belong to the same families but are contesting against each other.
The prominent among them are the Munde cousins who are fighting it out in the Parli seat of Beed district in the Marathwada region.
Sitting BJP MLA and rural development minister Pankaja Munde is taking on NCP's Dhananjay Munde, who is Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council. Both Pankaja and Dhananjay Munde are first cousins.
Pankaja is daughter of late BJP stalwart Gopinath Munde, while Dhananjay is his nephew. In 2014, Dhananjay Munde had lost to Pankaja.
In the Beed constituency, the NCP has fielded Sandeep Kshirsagar against his uncle, state employment guarantee minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar, who quit the Sharad Pawar-led party to join the Shiv Sena.
In Beed's Gevrai constituency, its a contest between Pandit family members. This seat had been represented by Shivajirao Pandit for decades and later on by his cousin Badamrao.
In 2014, Laxman Pawar of the BJP defeated Badamrao Pandit, who was then with the NCP. He later joined Shiv Sena.
While this time the BJP renominated Pawar, the NCP has given ticket to Badamrao''s nephew Amarsinh Pandit. Badamrao Pandit has entered the contest as an independent.
The Nilanga seat in Latur district is witnessing a fight between members of a prominent political family.
Former chief minister Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar's son Ashok has been fielded by the Congress from Nilanga. From the seat, the BJP has given ticket to his nephew Sambajirao Patil Nilangekar, who is also a minister.
Sambajirao Patil Nilangekar's late father Dilip and Ashok were brothers.
In Aheri in the Naxalite-hit Gadchiroli district, its a contest between Dharmaraobaba Atram of the NCP and his nephew, BJP's Amberishrao Atram, a state minister.
Yavatmal district's Pusad seat is witnessing a fight between members of the Naik family.
Two former chief ministers, the late Vasantrao Naik and his nephew Sudhakarrao Naik, have represented the seat in the past.
Vasantrao's grandson Indranil, who is son of ex-MLA and minister Manohar Naik, is contesting against his relative Nilay Naik of the BJP.
However, the family of former chief minister the late Vilasrao Dehsmukh is presenting a picture of unity.
His sons, Amit and Dhiraj Dehsmukh, are in the fray as Congress nominees from Latur City and Latur Rural assembly constituencies, respectively.
Amit Deshmukh, a two-time MLA, is eyeing a third term, while Dhiraj is making his assembly election debut from Latur Rural. Their brother, actor Riteish Deshmukh, is campaigning for them
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