MUMBAI: In an Assembly election, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the only leader to leave his imprint, around 64 per cent voting was registered in Maharashtra on Wednesday. Polling was largely peaceful though some freak incidents pertaining to minor clashes and malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were reported from a few places.
Former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, NCP leader Ajit Pawar, state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis, his colleagues Vinod Tawde and Eknath Khadse are among the 4,119 candidates whose fate has been sealed.
The voting began with thin crowd at the polling stations in the morning. Around 30 per cent voting was registered till 1 pm. It picked up pace after that with the voters coming to the polling stations in huge numbers. Naxal-infested Gadchiroli district registered the maximum 65 per cent voting despite the polls closing at 3 pm there in view of possible attacks by the extremists. Naxals, though, tried to attack the police at Etapalli. However, the alert policemen foiled the attack and no one was injured in the ambush.
Light rains disturbed the voting process in majority of the districts in Vidarbha region in the morning. Lighting killed one policeman posted at a polling station and eight voters in neighbouring Savner constituency near Nagpur.
In the Lok Sabha elections, 55 lakh voters all over the state had complained that their names were missing from the voters’ list. The names were added to the list in this election but the exercise did not help to increase the voting percentage.
Rural areas recorded more voting than the urban ones. Almost 65 per cent Mumbaikar voters preferred to stay away. In the Lok Sabha elections, around 53.05 per cent voting was recorded in the city, which was 10 per cent higher than the polling percentage recorded in the previous election. However, those additional voters did not help to shore up the turnout.
The A-listers of the city turned up to cast their votes late in the afternoon. A minor clash was reported between workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Akhil Bharatiya Sena (ABS) in Byculla. Some unidentified people vandalised ABS candidate Geeta Gawli’s car in this area. Geeta is daughter of jailed gangster Arun Gawali.