Isues like farm distress and lack of jobs dominated campaign in 10 constituencies in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions in Maharashtra, where polling for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections will be held on April 18.
Over 3.36 crore voters are expected to decide the fate of 179 candidates, including former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde, in these 10 seats, campaigning for which ended Monday.
The VBA may divide Dalit and Muslim votes, which experts believe could favour the NDA candidates.
Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, is contesting from Akola and Solapur seats.
Chavan, who is contesting from Nanded, is pitted against BJP candidate Pratap Patil Chikhlikar. Chikhlikar, a Shiv Sena MLA, joined the BJP to take on the former chief minister, his former colleague while in the Congress.
In 2014 elections, Patel had finished as the first runner-up relegating Ambedkar, who heads Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, to the third slot in Akola.
In Solapur, Sushilkumar Shinde is trying hard to stay relevant in electoral politics from his home turf. The veteran Congress leader, who had lost to a BJP candidate in 2014, is facing challenge from Ambedkar and Jaisiddheshwar Swami of the BJP, who has a following among Lingayats.
The hectic campaign in Beed saw Pritam's sister and state Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde, and her estranged cousin Dhananjay Munde, Leader of Opposition in the state Council, addressing several rallies.
During campaigning for the second phase, the Congress and the NCP accused the ruling BJP of shoddy implementation of a loan waiver for farmers and the BJP tried to build the narrative around national security and "decisiveness" in decision making under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A total of seven constituencies, all in the Vidarbha region in East Maharashtra, had voted in the first phase on April 11, recording a voter turnout of over 61 per cent.
Polling will be held on April 23 and 29 for the remaining seats.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)