MUMBAI: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday expressed confidence that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will form the next government in Maharashtra with a "record- breaking victory".
Gadkari, who was among the early voters in Nagpur, said people will vote on the basis of the five-year performance of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Devendra Fadnavis-led dispensation in Maharashtra.
"The BJP-Sena will have a record-breaking victory and Fadnavis will be the chief minister again," he told reporters after casting his vote.
He also urged people to come out to vote and strengthen the democracy, and said NOTA (none of the above) was not a good option in democracy.
Besides Gadkari, NCP MP Supriya Sule and her mother Pratibha Pawar were also among the early voters, who exercised their democratic right at Baramati in Pune.
"The Congress-NCP alliance will form the next government," claimed Sule, who is the daughter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Former state deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who is the nephew of the NCP chief, also voted in Baramati.
He is the NCP's nominee from Baramati Assembly seat.
The early voters also included Union minister Raosaheb Danve, who exercised his franchise at Bhokardan in Jalna.
Udayanraje Bhosale, who quit the NCP and is the BJP's nominee for the bypoll to Satara Lok Sabha in the state, voted in Satara.
Former Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde cast his vote in Solapur, where his daughter Praniti Shinde is seeking a third term as MLA.
Former chief minister Ashok Chavan and his family members cast their votes at a school in Nanded.
Chavan is the Congress' nominee from Bhokar in Nanded.
In Mumbai, where it has been drizzling since last two days, state school education minister Ashish Shelar exercised his franchise at a school in suburban Bandra.
Shelar is the BJP's candidate from Bandra-West seat.
Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde cast his vote in Aurangabad district.
State Housing Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and his family members cast their votes at Shirdi in Ahmednagar.
Former cricketer Sandeep Patil, who was also among the early voters at Shivaji Park in Mumbai, said more than the party, the merit of an individual candidate was important.
"We should vote for candidates who work for their constituencies," he said.
Polling began on Monday morning in all 288 Assembly constituencies of the state.
The voting commenced at 7 am and will end at 6 pm.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)