The BJP-Shiv Sena combine was ahead in 44 of the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra, appeared to have got an unassailable lead in around half a dozen seats, as per trends are available so far.
The BJP was ahead in 24 seats and the Sena in 20, while the NCP was ahead in three and the AIMIM in one seat. Senior BJP leaders and Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Subhash Bhamre were leading in Nagpur and Dhule seats respectively.
All Congress candidates, including former Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde, state president Ashok Chavan and Mumbai unit chief Milind Deora, were trailing in their seats. BJP's Sujay Vikhe Patil established a lead of 87,287 votes over his NCP rival Sangram Jagtap in Ahmednagar.
The BJP nominee, son of Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, quit the Rahul Gandhi-led party to join the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. In Jalgaon, BJP's Unmesh Patil was leading by 92,893 votes over NCP's former state minister Gulabrao Devkar.
In Maval, sitting Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne also established a comfortable lead of 1,12,634 votes over his NCP rival Parth Pawar, the grand nephew of former Union minister Sharad Pawar. In Mumbai-North, BJP's Gopal Shetty established a lead of 94,267 votes over Congress' nominee Urmila Matondkar.
Matondkar said there was a mismatch in signatures on EVM forms. "On the form of EVM 17C from Magathane, the signatures and the machine numbers are different. A complaint has been filed with the Election Commission," she tweeted.
In Mumbai-North East, BJP's Manoj Kotak got a lead of 1,04,882 votes over his NCP rival Sanjay Dina Patil. In Raver, BJP's Raksha Khadse was leading by 92,398 votes over her Congress rival Ulhas Patil. In Kolhapur, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Mandlik took a lead of 75,723 votes over sitting NCP MP Dhananjay Mahadik.