- Sharad Pawar predicted a "change of government".
- Mood of youth "totally against the BJP-Sena", Mr Pawar said.
- NCP is contesting on 121 of total 288 seats in Maharashtra.
Sharad Pawar, who virtually led the opposition's campaign for the Maharashtra polls, predicted a "change of government" as voting took place in the state today.
Amid reports of slow voting, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader also urged voters to exercise their democratic right "without any pressure".
"I request everyone to come out and vote in large numbers, this is a celebration of democracy," Sharad Pawar, 78, told reporters after casting his vote.
NCP is contesting on 121 of 288 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly; the Congress is fighting in 147 constituencies. In the months leading up to the polls, both parties have suffered infighting and defections to the rival camp.
The BJP, which is in an alliance with the Shiv Sena, is confident of retaining power in the state when the results are announced on Thursday.
Sharad Pawar, his grand-daughter Revati Sule and son-in-law Sadanand Sule voted at a polling booth in south Mumbai.
"I don't think they will return to power," the NCP chief, who was the state's youngest chief minister in the past, said of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. "The Congress, NCP and their friends are getting a very good response. That response is definitely indicating a change of government," said Sharad Pawar.
To a question on the opposition's weak campaign compared to the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena's blitz, the veteran said: "We were told here it is no election, it is a one-sided game. If everything was one-sided, then why was everyone campaigning here and towards the end, spending money, using all weapons. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath all visited..."
Mr Pawar claimed that the mood of the younger generation is "totally against the BJP-Sena" and they want change. "All sectors are in crisis - be it agrarian or industrial, be it Jet or several other industrials, everything has been shut down. I toured the state and have sensed that especially the youth want change," he said.
He asserted: "There is no question of being in the opposition. We are coming to power."
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