Brisk, peaceful polling in Maharashtra
Mumbai, Feb 21 (IANS) Polling was under way on a brisk and peaceful note on Tuesday in Maharashtra to pick 10 major civic bodies, including the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, 11 Zilla Parishads and 118 Panchayat Samitis.
By 10 a.m., Mumbai notched around 10 per cent balloting from the 9.20 million strong electorate.
The country’s commercial capital has generally recorded a dismal voter turnout during civic elections, but officials are hopeful of a change this year.
A similar average of 10 per cent was recorded elsewhere in the state in the second phase of the ongoing civic elections, after the first phase was completed on February 16.
A generous dose of glamour, glitz and power play was visible during the polling at the 7,304 booths to elect 227 BMC corporators from among 2,275 candidates.
State Election Commissioner J.S. Saharia was among the early voters along with his family.
And so were Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, his daughter Supriya Pawar, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray and Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam.
Additing a dash of glam quotient were film stars Rekha, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Shraddha Kapoor, Gulzar, several teleserial actors and Marathi film stars.
The civic polls have been widely dubbed a ‘mini-assembly’ election and a referendum on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
A total of 10 major civic bodies, including the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation and those of Thane, Pune and Nashik, plus 11 Zilla Parishads and 118 Panchayat Samitis are voting on Tuesday.
An electorate of 3.77 crore shall decide the fate of 17,331 candidates for 5,512 seats up for grabs, including 1,268 in 10 municipal bodies, 2,956 in 11 Zilla Parishads and 1,288 seats in 118 Panchayat Samitis.
A total of 43,160 polling booths have come up across the state. The results for both the phases of elections shall be declared on Thursday.
The major parties in the fray include the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
Besides, parties like the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen as well as regional and local groups have also fielded candidates.