MUMBAI/CHANDUGARH: About 25 per cent turnout was today recorded in Maharashtra while over 35 per cent voting was held in Haryana, which witnessed stray incidents of violence, in the first six hours of polling in the riveting contest to elect assemblies in the two states.
In Maharashtra, which has 8.35 crore voters, though polling started on a brisk note, it lost some pace by noon and about 25 per cent of the electorate had cast their votes by 1 PM.
Technical problems in electronic voting machines (EVMs) were reported from some polling booths in Nagpur city and Wardha district in Vidarbha, and Sewree in Mumbai. Voters in a Nashik booth also complained that the voter rolls were not in order.
A policeman on election duty was killed after being struck by lightning in Avdeghat polling station of Savner constituency in Vidarbha, where polling in some parts was marred by rains.
The highest voter turnout was witnessed in Kagal constituency of Kolhapur district while the lowest was at Bramhapuri constituency in Chandrapur district, officials said.
Two persons were injured in firing during a clash between INLD and BJP supporters in Haryana's Sirsa. A minor clash also occurred between the supporters of Haryana Lokhit Party of Gopal Kanda and INLD workers in the district. Kanda, a former Haryana Minister, is seeking re-election from Sirsa.
There were glitches in EVM machines at a couple of places in the state, which recorded over 35 per cent polling by 1 PM.
Among the early voters in Mahasrashtra were former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who cast his vote in Karad in western Maharashtra, from where he is a candidate, former
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in Baramati, former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in Solapur, Leader of Opposition in Council Vinod Tawde in Mumbai and NCP MP Supriya Sule and her mother Pratibha Pawar.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar cast his vote in Mumbai, while Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was joined by his wife and son Aditya .
State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis, a front runner for chief ministerial post in case BJP comes to power, also cast his vote.
Among Bollywood personalities who went to polling booths in Mumbai early today were Rekha, Jaya Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Amol Palekar, BJP MP Hema Malini and her daughter Esha, Anupam Kher, Salman Khan and Sonali Bendre. Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar also cast his vote.
Voters will decide the fate of 4,119 candidates in the fray in 288 seats in Maharashtra.
Counting of votes will take place on October 19.