Mumbai: Maharashtra Assembly elections held on Monday saw a voter turnout of around 63 percent, almost matching the 63.38 percent polling recorded in the last state elections in 2014, reported PTI. Haryana recorded a turnout of 65 percent for 90 constituencies in the Assembly elections by 6 pm on Monday, the Election Commission said.
Rural areas of Maharashtra fared better, with voters there showing more enthusiasm than their urban counterparts. Polling began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm. Altogether 54.53 percent voters exercised their franchise till 5 pm, a poll official said. 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 RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, former president Pratibha Patil and MNS 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.
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. 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.
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.
In Haryana, polling that began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm was largely peaceful, barring a violent incident in Nuh, officials said. According to the Election Commission in Delhi, 65 percent of the registered voters exercised their franchise by 6 pm, when polling closed. However, people who entered the polling booths before the closing time, would be allowed to cast their vote, officials said.
The final figure will be available when the data is tabulated, officials said. In the 2014 Assembly elections, 76.54 percent voters in Haryana had exercised their franchise. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the voting percentage was 70.36. The Election Commission said 1,169 candidates, including 105 women, contested the elections. The BJP, led by Chief Minister M L Khattar, is aiming at retaining power in Haryana and had set a target of winning 75 seats.
Currently, the BJP has 48 members in the state Assembly. Haryana's chief electoral officer Anurag Agarwal said 19,578 polling stations were set up, 13,837 of them in rural areas. Tight security arrangements were in place with over 75,000 security personnel deployed for the polls, DGP Manoj Yadava said earlier. Over 1.83 crore voters, including 85 lakh women, were eligible to vote. The figure includes over one lakh service voters and 252 transgender voters.