MUMBAI: Maharashtra Assembly elections held on Monday saw a voter turnout of around 60.46 per cent. Rural areas of the state fared better, with voters there showing more enthusiasm.The country’s financial and entertainment capital Mumbai once again fared poorly recording estimated 44.74% polling.
A galaxy of bigwigs from politics, Bollywood and India Inc joined the young and the old in exercising their franchise. Prominent voters included RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, CM Devendra Fadnavis, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. From Shah Rukh Khan to Salman Khan, from Kareena Kapoor Khan to Deepika Padukone, Mumbai’s polling booths saw several celebrities vote.
Polling was largely peaceful, barring a few stray incidents of violence. Three persons were injured as two groups clashed over alleged bogus voting in Badnapur Assembly in Jalna. BJP activists alleged that NCP workers were involved in bogus voting, a police officer said.
Seizure of cash, drugs and freebies aimed at inducing voters in polls in Maharashtra and Haryana have seen a massive jump as compared to the last elections, the Election Commission said. Director General (Expenditure) Dilip Sharma said in Maharashtra the overall seizure stood at `156.94 crore. He said in Haryana, the jump is three times the previous figures. In 2014, the total seizure was `8.58 crore and this time, it was `24.17 crore.
‘BJP-Sena alliance won’t cross 200 seats’
Senior Shiv Sena leader and former chief minister Manohar Joshi has said that the saffron alliance is unlikely to cross the 200 seat threshold in the 288 member state Assembly, though the alliance had put forth a target of 240 seats. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, on the other hand said that the youth is with his party and that impression of one-sided election needed to be undone. Joshi, who cast his vote at Dadar, however, didn’t give any other explanation why he feels so.
Northeast shows the way to vote
Guwahati: A high voter turnout was recorded in the bypolls to six Assembly segments in the Northeast on Monday. According to sources, the turnout in Assam was 74.14 per cent, Meghalaya 79.83 per cent and Arunachal Pradesh 90.74 per cent. Four constituencies — Sonari, Ratabari, Rangapara and Jania — in Assam, Shella in Meghalaya and Khonsa West in Arunachal went to the polls.
Just over 47 per cent vote in UP bypolls
Lucknow: Just over 47 per cent of eligible voters exercised their franchise in the bypolls to 11 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh on Monday. Gangoh in Saharanpur district saw the highest turnout with about 60.30 per cent voters exercising their franchise. In Lucknow Cantonment, only 28.53 per cent of eligible electors cast their vote. Polling was by and large peaceful in the state.
Naxal-hit seat sees long queues in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: A high voter turnout of 74.39 per cent was recorded in the bypoll to the Naxal-hit Chitrakot Assembly constituency in Chhattisgarh till the scheduled deadline of 5 pm on Monday, an election official here said. Voting was peaceful. Six candidates are in the fray from the seat reserved for Scheduled Tribe nominees, but the main contest is between the ruling Congress and the BJP.