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Maha registers over 60% voter turnout, Haryana 65%

Last updated on: October 22, 2019 01:00 IST

IMAGE: Voters show their inked fingers after casting their votes at a polling station for the Haryana assembly elections, in Faridabad, on Monday. Photograph: PTI Photo

Maharashtra assembly elections held on Monday saw a voter turnout of 60.46 per cent till the closing hour of 6 pm, election officials said in Mumbai.

Haryana, meanwhile, recorded a voter turnout of 65.75 per cent, a sharp drop from the 2014 elections which brought the Bharatiya Janata Party to power in the state.

The final figure of polling could increase and it will be available on Tuesday, officials said.

Maharashtra

The highest turn-out was reported in Karveer constituency in Kolhapur, at 83.20 per cent. The lowest turnout was recorded in south Mumbai's upmarket Colaba area at 40.20 per cent.

In the last assembly election in 2014, the state had recorded 63.38 per cent voter turn-out.

Rural areas of the state fared better, with voters there showing more enthusiasm than their urban counterparts.

 

IMAGE: Voters stand in a queue and show their voter identity cards outside a polling station during Maharashtra assembly elections, in Mumbai, on Monday. Photograph: PTI Photo

Polling began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm. By 6 pm, 60.46 per cent of voters had exercised franchise, said the state's chief electoral officer Baldev Singh.

A galaxy of bigwigs from politics, Bollywood and India Inc joined the young and the old in exercising their franchise in this festival of democracy.

Prominent voters included Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Nationalist Congress President chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, former President Pratibha Patil and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.

From Shah Rukh Khan to Salman Khan, from Kareena Kapoor Khan to Deepika Padukone, Mumbai's polling booths witnessed several Bollywood celebrities who came out to vote.

Aamir Khan, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Lara Dutta were among the tinsel town figures who exercised their franchise.

Actor Riteish Deshmukh and wife Genelia cast their vote in Latur district, where Amit and Dheeraj, brothers of Ritesh and sons of former CM late Vilasrao Deshmukh, are contesting as Congress candidates.

IMAGE: Jadhav Jairam Waghela, a physically-challenged voter, gets his arm inked after casting his vote in Thane. Photograph: PTI Photo

A nonagenarian was the cynosure of all eyes as he accompanied Union minister Smriti Irani outside a polling booth in Mumbai.

"Today's hero is Khanna sahab, who served in the Army. At 93, he came out to vote. It is an inspiration," Irani said.

In Pune, A 102-year-old man, suffering from a heart ailment, went straight to a polling booth to cast his vote after being discharged from a hospital.

Ibrahim Alim Joad, who, according to his family, has never missed voting since Independence, consulted his doctors before going to vote.

"Modi is doing good work and hence my vote goes to him," he said.

The state has total 8,98,39,600 voters, including 1,06,76,013 in the age group of 18 to 25 years. Nearly 6.5 lakh polling personnel were deployed at 96,661 polling
booths across the state.

IMAGE: Voters stand in a queue displaying their voter card outside a polling station in Thane. Photograph: PTI Photo

The opposition Congress said it filed over 250 complaints of poll procedure violations with the Election Commission, including one for Ramtek segment where it said if the EVM button was pressed in favour of Congress candidate, the vote was shown to be going to the BJP nominee.

In Gadchiroli district, a 45-year-old teacher posted on election duty died in hospital after fainting while walking towards the voting booth on Monday morning, an official said.

Bapu Pandu Gavade, who was heading to the voting booth with a polling party from Dehari base camp, fainted mid-way in the morning near Pursalgondi village of Etapalli area.

IMAGE: Voters stand wait to cast their votes at a polling station in Karad, Maharashtra. Photograph: PTI Photo

In Pune, a 62-year-old man fainted while standing in the queue outside a polling station in Bhosari constituency and later died of brain hemorrhage in the hospital, police said.

Abdul Rahim Shaikh, a resident of Shantinagar, was suffering from cancer for the last one year, police added.

A total of 4,698 EVM-VVPAT units, 665 ballot units, 596 control units and 3,437 only VVPAT machies developed snags, and these faulty machines were replaced, election officials said.

Total of 361 complaints of EVM malfunctioning were filed, including 152 by the Congress and 89 by the Shiv Sena.

Haryana

Seven people were hurt in stone-pelting between two groups in a Nuh village and there were 'minor incidents' in Rohtak, Narnaul and Bahadurgah districts, police said.

But they maintained that polling over the 90 assembly constituencies was largely peaceful.

As per the Election Commission, at about 11.30 pm, 'the overall poll percentage was 65.75 per cent'.

The turnout was less than the 76.54 per cent in the 2014 assembly elections and the 70.36 per cent recorded over the state's 10 parliamentary constituencies in the Lok Sabha elections this year.

Currently, the ruling BJP has 48 members in the state assembly and the Congress 17.

Prominent figures in a field of 1,169 contestants include Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, former Congress CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Jannayak Janta Party leader Dushyant Chautala and Indian National Lok Dal's Abhay Singh Chautala.

IMAGE: A polling official puts indelible ink on the finger of voter as she arrives to vote for Haryana assembly elections, at a polling station in Sonepat. Photograph: Press Information Bureau of India

Haryana ministers including Ram Bilas Sharma, Anil Vij, Capt Abhimanyu, O P Dhankar and Kavita Jain are also in fray for the BJP.

Congress bigwigs in the contest include Randeep Singh Surjewala, Kiran Choudhary, Ranbir Mahendra and Kuldeep Bishnoi.

The BJP also fielded TikTok star Sonali Phogat and three sportspersons -- Babita Phogat, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sandeep Singh.

Haryana's ADGP (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk tweeted, 'Overall situation remained peaceful.'

IMAGE: Women stand in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Karnal, Haryana. Photograph: PTI Photo

Addressing reporters in the evening with Haryana's Chief Electoral Officer Anurag Agarwal, he said there were 'minor incidents of clashes' in Nuh, Rohtak and Narnaul districts. Altogether, 13 first information reports were registered.

He said there were two incidents of firing in Nuh district during the day, but these were not poll-related.

Seven people, including a woman, were hurt when supporters of a village sarpanch and a former headman clashed outside a polling booth in Malaaka village in Nuh district in Mewat region, police said.

Nuh Superintendent of Police Sangeeta Kalia said an argument broke out between the two local leaders, and this was followed by stone-pelting.

"However, the polling process was not hampered," she said.

There were reports of minor fights taking place between the supporters of the BJP and the Congress in Rohtak and Bahadurgarh districts.

IMAGE: Elderly voters show their inked fingers in Sonepat, Haryana. Photograph: PTI Photo

The BJP led by Khattar had set a target of winning 75 of the 90 assembly seats in the state, where the Congress is struggling to make a comeback. 10-month old JJP, which came into existence following a split in the Chautala clan, emerged as a key contender in the polls.

The INLD-Shiromani Akali Dal combine, Aam Aadmi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Loktantra Suraksha Party and Swaraj India also contested, though none of them fought all 90 seats.

The BJP had made the nullification of Article 370 and nationalism major poll issues. It also told voters that the Khattar government had provided a clean and transparent administration.

Congress and other opposition parties targeted the BJP government over unemployment, law and order and the condition of farmers.

Glitches were reported with electronic voting machines (EVMs) at a few booths, including in Tohana, but they were promptly rectified and polling was not affected, officials said.

IMAGE: A volunteer takes a differently-abled person to a polling booth in Sonepat. Photograph: PTI Photo

JJP leader Dushyant Chautala alleged that 'bogus votes' were cast at a booth in Dumerkha Kalan village in Jind district in connivance with a police official.

Polling was brisker in rural pockets than in the urban areas at many places.

A high turnout was recorded in Naraingarh (74), Mulana (72), Sadhuara (74), Jagadhri (73), Radaur (68.20), Ladwa (71), Kaithal (74), Tohana (80), Tosham (70), Meham (70), Ellenabad (70), and Garhi Sampla-Kiloi (68).

But Karnal, from where Chief Minister M L Khattar is seeking re-election, recorded a modest turnout of 50 per cent.

Other constituencies that recorded a relatively lower polling percentage are Panipat City (45), Rohtak (54), Nilokheri (57), Hisar (54), Adampur (60), Gurgaon (52) and Faridabad (48).

IMAGE: Voters stand in a queue and show their voting cards at a polling station at Badkal in Faridabad. Photograph: PTI Photo

Election Commission officials said the figures are provisional and may change slightly when they are tabulated.

In Shahbad near Kurukshetra, a Sikh groom cast his vote before solemnising his marriage.

Haryana's lone woman minister Kavita Jain, her husband and BJP leader Rajiv Jain and their two children, both first time voters, were among the early voters in Sonipat.

Khattar travelled by the Jan Shatabdi train from Chandigarh to Karnal, from where he is seeking re-election. He then took an e-rickshaw and rode a bicycle to reach the polling booth.

In Sirsa, Dushyant Chautala rode a tractor to reach the polling booth with his wife Meghna and MLA-mother Naina Chautala.

Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda cast his vote along with his family members in his constituency in Garhi Sampla-Kiloi in Rohtak.

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