Polling Begins in Maharashtra and Haryana
MUMBAI: The Election Commission officials on Wednesday will receive voters in Maharashtra’s selected polling stations in a traditional way. Band will be played and rangolis will be drawn at one model polling station in each constituency to welcome the voters.
The state is all set to elect its next government on Wednesday. Voting will also take place in the byelection in Beed Lok Sabha constituency. The byelection was necessitated following the sudden death of then Union Minister for Rural Development Gopinath Munde’s in a road mishap in Delhi. Munde’s second daughter Pritam Khade is contesting from Beed on a BJP ticket.
The EC has asked its officials to ensure that the voters feel happy and jubilant when they reach the polling booths to cast their votes. “This is an attempt to connect with the voters. We hope they will respond in a good humour,” said an official with the Commission.
The Maharashtra Police have deployed over 2 lakh personnel to ensure that law and order is maintained during the voting. Out of them, around 40,000 policemen have been posted in the city alone. Another 390 companies of Central Reserve Police Force, State Reserve Force, reserved forces from different states, including Gujarat,Rajasthan and Sikkim, have also been deployed.
Special Inspector General (Law and Order) Deven Bharti said that special security arrangements had been made in Naxal-infested Gadchiroli district to thwart any possible disruption by Maoists during the democratic process. “IAF helicopters will maintain an aerial surveillance in the area,” he said.
The poll panel has seized around Rs 15 crore unaccounted cash and liquor worth Rs 80 lakh during the election campaign. Around 900 cases pertaining to violation of Model Code of Conduct were reported across the state.
Joint Police Commissioner (Law and Order) Dhananjay Kamalakar said that preventive action had been taken against 16,330 people, including detention of people in anticipation of untoward incidents.
As many as 1,680 arms licence holders have deposited their weapons with the city police in compliance with the rules, ahead of polling in the state.
■ Congress - Prithviraj Chavan, Narayan Rane, Patangrao Kadam, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Ameeta Chavan
■ NCP - Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patil, R R Patil, Jaidutta Kshirsagar
■ BJP - Devendra Fadnavis, Vinod Tawde, Eknath Khadse, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Pankaja Palwe
■ Shiv Sena - Subhash Desai, Ravindra Waykar, Suresh Jain, Deepak Kesarkar, Uday Samant
■ Number of polling stations - 91,376
■ Number of EVMs to be used - Control units - 1,14,255, Ballot units - 1,51,032