Moderate voting in Maharashtra, Mumbai disappoints
Maximum city Mumbai disappointed candidates and political parties alike even though encouraging voting figures were recorded elsewhere as 19 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra went to the polls Thursday in the third and final phase of voting in the state.
Despite the presence of industrialists, businessmen, filmstars and celebrities, polling remained sluggish in Mumbai's six constituencies.
This was in sharp contrast to the tribal constituency of Nandurbar which recorded 47 percent voting followed by Dindori at 45 and Raigad at 43 percent till late afternoon.
Of the six parliamentary constituencies in the western metropolis, Mumbai North recorded the highest turnout of around 41 percent, Mumbai North West 38 percent, Mumbai North East 35 percent, Mumbai South Central 33 percent, Mumbai North Central 36 percent and Mumbai South 29 percent.
The consolation was a high turnout in the minority pockets of Mumbai, with Muslims making it a point to come out with their families to exercise their franchise.
All the four seats in neighbouring Thane recorded a low turnout, with Bhiwandi notching just 25 percent, following by Thane at 26, Kalyan at 27 and Palghar at 30 percent.
Elsewhere in the state, Dhule recorded 39 percent, Jalgaon 37, Raver 39, Jalna 42, Aurangabad 35 and Nashik 40.
Over 3.17 crore voters were eligible to elect their representatives from a total of 338 candidates, including 24 women and 119 independents.
Some of the prominent candidates trying their luck Thursday were: union minister Milind Deora, former minister Gurudas Kamat, Sanjay Nirupam, state Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, activists Medha Patkar, Mayank Gandhi and Vijay Pandhare and Bollywood personalities Mahesh Manjrekar, Kamaal Khan and Rakhi Sawant.
Aurangabad has the maximum number of 27 candidates, while Nandurbar has just nine contenders.
The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Aam Aadmi Party are contesting all 19 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party and Samajwadi Party have 11 candidates each.
The Congress has put up 10 nominees, the Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena eight each, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena seven, Communist Party (Marxist) three and Communist Party of India two.
The largest constituency Thane in terms of electorate has 2.07 million voters, while Mumbai South Central is the smallest with just 1.44 million voters.
The 19 constituencies where voting was held are Aurangabad, Bhiwandi, Dindori, Dhule, Jalgaon, Jalna, Kalyan, Mumbai North, Mumbai North West, Mumbai North East, Mumbai North Central, Mumbai South Central, Mumbai South, Nandurbar, Nashik, Palghar, Raver, Raigad and Thane.
Polling in the first two phases was held April 10 for 10 constituencies and April 17 for 19 constituencies.
(Posted on 24-04-2014)