Towns tepid, voting higher in rural areas

Urban regions in both Maharashtra and Haryana saw a lower voter turnout while high percentages were reported from rural constituencies. Polling was peaceful in the Maoist infested Gadchiroli. Overall, Maharashtra recorded 63% polling and Haryana 65%

Mumbai | New Delhi: Maharashtra recorded 63% polling and Haryana 65% in state assembly elections held on Monday. Urban regions in both states saw lower voter turnout, with Colaba registering 37% and Gurgaon and Faridabad about 50% each. Polling percentages are likely to undergo upward revisions when the Election Commission releases final data.

Ulhasnagar, Kalyan East and Andheri West reported less than 40% polling, while Panipat City and Karnal, the Haryana chief minister’s constituency, reported less than 50%, significantly lower than 2014 figures. Karnal and Panipat City reported nearly 68% in 2014.

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High percentages were reported from high-profile rural constituencies in Haryana, like Tohana, Kaithal, Narnaund and Tosham, from where BJP state chief Subhash Barala, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, BJP’s Jat face Captain Abhimanyu and Congress legislative party leader Kiran Choudhry are in the fray. The turnout in Maharashtra too was bolstered by a better turnout in rural regions, despite being buffeted by heavy rains. Voters braved bad roads and flooded streets to cast their ballot.

Polling was peaceful in the Maoist infested Gadchiroli. However, there were stray incidents of violence in other parts of the state. In Amravati district, a candidate of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana was allegedly attacked. Clashes were reported between supporters of Shiv Sena candidate Jaydutt Kshirsagar and NCP candidate Sandeep Kshirsagar at Beed, after allegations that the Sena candidate was getting fake voters into booths. Police intervened to ensure that things did not go out of control. Violence also occurred between supporters of BJP candidate Ram Shinde from Karjat Jamkhed and NCP candidate Rohit Pawar.

There were also at least 67 complaints of EVM glitches and VVPAT malfunctioning registered in Maharashtra. In Thane, polling was affected for a while after a RPI functionary entered the polling booth and flung ink on an EVM, claiming it was manipulated. In Haryana, JJP leader Dushyant Chautala levelled allegations of bogus voting at a booth in Dumerkha Kalan village of the Uchana Kalan assembly seat.
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