Nagpur / Pune / Mumbai: an estimated 6.35% of voter turnout was registered until 1100 hours in the polling day of 288 polling divisions in Maharashtra on Monday. The Election Commission claimed that technical problems in electronic voting machines (EVMs) had been recorded from various polling stations in the western district of Nagpur. The turnout at 1,000 a.m. was 5.69 per cent.
In the first two hours of polling until 9:00 a.m., Mumbai had five per cent of the vote, Nagpur 4.3 per cent and Pune 5 per cent.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, former Chief Ministers Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan, former Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar along with his parents, his cousin Supriya Sule, former Union Home Secretary and ex-MC Sushilkumar Shinde and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat were among the early birds who cast their votes. While rains in parts of the state have dampened voter turnout, they are likely to pick up as the day progresses, the election official said.
The biggest rivalry in Maharashtra is between the’ Mahayuti ‘ BJP coalition, Shiv Sena and other smaller parties, and the’ Mahagadhi Coalition’ of Congress and the NCP. A maximum of 3,237 candidates from a number of non-self-governing parties are expected to return to power for a second consecutive term by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena and the opposition Congress-NCP coalition to retake control from them. Voting also began for the lonely Lok Sabha by-election in Satara, where the BJP had set up a sitting MP, Udayanraje Bhosale, who was challenged by the NCP’s Shrinivas Patil for a coveted seat, once the royal seat of the Chhatrapati’s.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar is sitting in Baramati against BJP candidate Gopichand Padalkar. Pune Member of Parliament Girish Bapat cast his vote, along with his family members, at Kasba Peth, where BJP candidate and Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak were competing for the first time. BJP is vying for 164 seats, while its Shiv Sena coalition has nominated 126 candidates. Congress has nominated 147 candidates and an ally of the NCP 121.