In Maharashtra, the electoral fate of 3237 candidates was sealed in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) by the voters on Monday evening. Amid 60.25 per cent voter turnout, exit polls predict three-fourth majority for ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the state. Voting started on very slow pace in all 288 constituencies of the state in the morning. Polling gained momentum in the afternoon. After glitches were reported in EVMs, the voting process was disrupted at several polling stations of Thane (Bhiwandi), Ratnagiri and Bhandara districts. Fifty VVPATs and 19 EVMs were replaced in Nagpur district due to glitches. Supporters of Shiv Sena and NCP clashed in Pimpri Chinchwad in which NCP leader Dabboo Aswani was injured. In spite of heavy rains in Latur district since morning, people came out in big number to exercise their franchise. Voting took place at a polling booth in Pune’s Shivaji Nagar in candlelight due to unavailability of electricity. In Mumbai, EVM of booth no.62 at Worli got replaced due to some issues. Till 6 pm, Maharashtra registered around 60.25 per cent voting. In 2014 Maharashtra had seen 64 per cent voter turnout.
NCP leader and advocate Majeed Memon said, “Voters in Maharashtra was not keen to exercise their franchise. The climate has been very uncertain as it has been drizzling for the past two days. There was three consecutive holidays from Saturday to Monday. Mumbaikars thought of moving to Lonavala, Khandala and Mahabaleshwar. Some of them thought they will return on Sunday night to vote on Monday. However it seems that they have changed their mind and stayed back and refrained from voting.”
During the same period nearly 65 per cent voters in Haryana exercised their franchise. Exit polls predict landslide victory for incumbent BJP in the state. There are 1169 candidates in the fray for the 90 seats of Haryana Assembly. Violent clashes took place at four booths in Mewat district of the state. Barring an attempt of booth capturing in Haryana’s Narnaul, voting concluded peacefully in both Maharashtra and Haryana. In addition to this, bypolls were held to 51 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies which are spread across 18 states. The counting of votes in both the states will take place on October 24.
Mahila Pradesh Congress General Secretary Manisha Rote said, “Residents of Maharashtra are angry with the BJP. Several parts of Maharashtra had witnessed floods. Due to lack of money people are unhappy. People have lost faith in EVMs. “
There were 96,661 polling booths in Maharashtra for citizens to cast their votes. Polling began at 7 am in the morning in all 288 Assembly constituencies of the state, and ended at 6 pm. Nagpur South-West, Worli and Parli are hot seats in the state. CM Devendra Fadnavis is contesting from Nagpur South-West, while Aaditya Thackeray of Shiv Sena and Pankaja Munde of BJP are in the fray from Worli and Parli respectively. More than 40 defectors are contesting elections as candidates of BJP-Sena alliance. In these elections BJP-Shiv Sena alliance hopes to be benefitted with Modi wave. PM Modi addressed many nine rallies across the state.
Sanjog Patil, photographer said, “In this election, I have noticed that many candidates change their respective parties and join the leading party or join a successful party. This was the major change I have noticed.”
In Mumbai, 9,894 polling stations were set up at 1,537 locations. 36 out of 288 seats come in the city of Mumbai where 334 candidates are in the fray. The city has 97.72 lakh registered voters. At least 40,000 police and security personnel were deployed across the city for smooth polling process.
Pratik Bhavsar, Vasai resident said, “This time there was a very less number of voter turnout also the security of polling booth was up to the mark.”
This time, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is seeking a second term with landslide victory, while the Congress-NCP alliance is hoping to come back to power again. BJP is contesting on 164 seats, which includes candidates of smaller allies contesting on its lotus symbol. Its ally Shiv Sena has fielded 124 candidates. On the other hand, Congress has candidates in 147 constituencies and NCP is contesting on 121 seats. In 2014, all four parties had fought assembly elections separately.
Mumbaikars voted on Monday for assembly polls, but long queues of voters were not common sights in the city. Polling booths were seen less crowded. Long weekend and migrant voter’s apathy were key reasons behind this. Many voters with family went out of the city for a picnic.
Nishant Birje, Yuva Sena Vasai taluka Chief Coordinator said, “Many new voters were added especially the youths who attained 18 years this year. Well, new voters are getting accustomed about how to vote but they are unable to find their polling booths. Youth’s are getting influenced by social media’s targeting from various parties. Apart from this Aaditya Thackeray is contesting elections from Worli Constituency.”
Haji Ibrahim Aleem Joad, a 102-year-old man cast vote along with his family at a polling booth in Lohegaon in Pune said, “I was admitted to hospital for 4 days but today I’m here to cast my vote. I urge everyone to come forward & vote.”
Deepak Sharma, Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi party worker from Vasai said, “This year’s election is quite tough, as the competitors are strong. The Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi has done much work for the development.”
However, prominent political leaders and Bollywood actors-actresses exercised their franchise. NCP president Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, MNS leader Raj Thackeray and Union minister Smriti Irani were prominent among the political leaders who voted in Mumbai. CM Fadnavis, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari cast their votes in Nagpur. Aamir Khan, Ritiesh Deshmukh, Genelia D’Souza, Madhuri Dixit, Dia Mirza and other Bollywood celebrities voted here and urged others to make their vote count.
Urban voters are not committed as compared to their rural counterparts. Election Commission and celebrities have urged voters to cast their vote. Total 8,98,39,600 people, including 4,28,43,635 women are registered in Maharashtra for the 2019 assembly elections.
Survey Maharashtra (Total 288 seats) Majority 145
BJP-Sena Cong-NCP Others
230 48 10 Times Now
243 41 4 News 18 IPSOS
204 69 15 ABP Lokniti
Survey Haryana (Total 90 seats) Majority 46
BJP Cong Others
71 11 8 Times Now
75 10 5 News 18 IPSOS
75-80 9-12 1-3 India News