The Akola Lok Sabha constituency in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra is likely to witness a quadrangular fight between Shiv Sena-BJP, Congress-NCP, Samajwadi Party and Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) candidates.
BBM leader Prakash Ambedkar, who won the seat in 1998 and 1999 by a slender margin, is likely to face an uphill task as he is expected to lose the traditional votes of the Congress and NCP, with whom he severed ties recently. The challenge would be stiff for the dalit leader if Samajwadi Party candidate remains in the fray.
This leaves an edge for Shiv-Sena-BJP alliance nominee Sanjay Dhotre, who is the sitting BJP MLA from Murtizapur in the district over Congress-NCP and Samajwadi Party nominees.
Laxmanrao Tayde, a sitting Congress MLA from Balapur in the district, is the Congress-NCP alliance nominee, while Mukim Ahmad Abdul Rasid is contesting on the SP ticket.
Ambedkar is a candidate of the Vidarbha Rajya Party led by Banwarilal Purohit.
Dhotre, Tayde and Mukim are the new faces seeking entry for the first time in Lok Sabha.
A total of 15 candidates are in the fray for the April 20 polls.