10 percent voting in early hours in Maharashtra
An average of 10 percent of the electorate cast their votes within the first two hours, as polling started for the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra Thursday morning, officials said.
A few voters were seen outside some polling stations in Akola constituency before the polling started. Long queues were seen in Ramtek and Nagpur constituencies with enthusiastic youth and senior citizens awaiting for their turn.
Akola, with the lowest number of seven candidates, has recorded around 10 percent voting while Ramtek notched eight percent and Nagpur stood at seven percent.
Officials attributed this to the scorching heat in the Vidarbha region of eastern Maharashtra, where afternoon temperatures touch 45 degrees Celsius in some areas.
"Most people prefer to take advantage of the cool morning and evening hours, but most may keep away during afternoon," said an official.
Among the early voters were Bharatiya Janata Party former president Nitin Gadkari, who came with his family to vote in Nagpur city, Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar, and former minister and AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik.
Scores of voters in Amravati constituency, especially the first-timers, were disappointed as their names or photographs were missing from the voters' lists.
Election officials said they would try to rectify the problems and not deny any voter his or her right to vote.
A total of 201 candidates, including 90 Independents, are in the fray for the 10 Lok Sabha seats that have gobne to polls in Vidarbha and around 1.22 crore voters spread across the region will decide their fate.
The candidates include 15 women, including two from the Nationalist Congress Party and the Aam Aadmi Party.
Among the political parties, the maximum number of 10 seats are being contested by Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, followed by the Congress seven and the Bharatiya Janata Party six candidates.
The Shiv Sena, which has an alliance with the BJP, has put up four candidates, the NCP has three candidates and the CPI only one.
(Posted on 10-04-2014)