IMAGE: Voters show their inked fingers after casting their votes at a polling station for the Haryana assembly elections, in Faridabad, on Monday. Photograph: PTI Photo
Altogether 60.5 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 6 pm on Monday in Maharashtra, after polling for the 288 assembly seats began at 7 am, the Election Commission said.
Haryana recorded a turnout of over 65 per cent by 6 pm for the 90-member assembly elections, the EC said.
The poll panel said that the voting is still going on in both the states so the turnout it likely to rise.
The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party combine is seeking to dislodge the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena alliance government in the state in the polls.
IMAGE: Voters stand in a queue and show their voter identity cards outside a polling station during Maharashtra assembly elections, in Mumbai, on Monday. Photograph: PTI Photo
Prominent personalities who voted include Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, CM Devendra Fadnavis, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.
Several Bollywood celebrities, including Aamir Khan, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Lara Dutta, stepped out to vote.
A nonagenarian was the cynosure of all eyes as he accompanied Union minister Smriti Irani outside a polling booth in Mumbai.
IMAGE: Jadhav Jairam Waghela, a physically-challenged voter, gets his arm inked after casting his vote in Thane. Photograph: PTI Photo
“Today’s hero is Khanna sahab, who has served in the Army. He is 93 and came out to vote. It is an inspiration,” Irani said.
About 44 per cent voters exercised their franchise in Mumbai city till 5 pm.
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 have been deployed at 96,661 polling booths across the state.
IMAGE: Voters stand in a queue displaying their voter card outside a polling station in Thane. Photograph: PTI Photo
Maharashtra recorded 63.38 per cent turnout in 2014
In Nagpur district, as many as 59 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units and 19 Electronic Voting Machines were replaced in Nagpur district due to glitches.
59 VVPAT machines, 34 control units and 19 ballot units (EVMs) were replaced due to technical glitches in 12 assembly constituencies of the district, the district information office said.
IMAGE: Voters stand wait to cast their votes at a polling station in Karad, Maharashtra. Photograph: PTI Photo
Barring a stray incident in Nuh district polling that began at 7 am was violence-free.
IMAGE: A polling official puts indelible ink on the finger of voter as she arrives to vote for Haryana assembly elections, at a polling station in Sonepat. Photograph: Press Information Bureau of India
The constituencies that saw relatively higher polling included Julana (61 per cent), Naraingarh (63.34 ), Mulana-reserved (67.30), Sadhuara- reserved (69 ), Jagadhri (58.40), Radaur (68.20), Ladwa (61), Kalayat (64.90), Kaithal (60.13), Tohana (71.20), Fatehabad (71.55), Rania (70), Tosham (70), Meham (70.75), Ellenabad (61), Gohana (62) and Garhi Sampla-Kiloi (62), according to Election Commission figures.
Karnal, from where Chief Minister M L Khattar is seeking re-election, recorded a moderate turnout of 43 per cent by 5 pm.
IMAGE: Women stand in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Karnal, Haryana. Photograph: PTI Photo
Comparatively fewer voters turned out in Panipat City (45 per cent), Sonipat (45), Uchana Kalan (56.30), Rohtak (54), Rewari (49.69), Nilokheri reserved seat (43.10), Pataudi reserved (36), Gurgaon (37), Nuh (43), Faridabad (42), Ballabhgarh (47) and Hisar (42)
As many as 1,169 candidates, including 105 women, are contesting the elections.
A clash was reported from Nuh district in Mewat region.
A woman was injured in the clash which took place between two groups outside a polling booth in Malaaka village, a senior police official said.
IMAGE: Elderly voters show their inked fingers in Sonepat, Haryana. Photograph: PTI Photo
Nuh Superintendent of Police Sangeeta Kalia said some argument broke out between the present sarpanch and a former sarpanch after which some of their supporters accompanying them clashed and pelted each other with stones.
“However, the polling process was not hampered and the situation is peaceful now,” the SP said.
Jannayak Janata Party leader Dushyant Chautala alleged that ‘bogus voting’ took place at a booth in Dumerkha Kalan village, allegedly in connivance with a police official. He said when he objected to it, an attempt was made to hurl a glass at him.
“I have given a complaint to the Returning Officer concerned,” he said.
IMAGE: A volunteer takes a differently-abled person to a polling booth in Sonepat. Photograph: PTI Photo
At many places, great enthusiasm was witnessed among women voters.
In an attempt to encourage women voters’ participation in the polls, the Election Commision had set up pink polling booths, also called Sakhi booths with an all-women staff at many places.
Earlier in the morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to come out in large numbers to cast their vote and ‘enrich the festival of democracy’.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda too had urged voters to come out in great numbers to vote.
The prominent figures in the fray are Chief Minister Khattar, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Dushyant Chautala and Indian National Lok Dal’s Abhay Singh Chautala.
Haryana’s lone woman minister Kavita Jain, along with her husband and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rajiv Jain and their two children, both first-time voters, were among the first to cast vote in Sonipat.
Khattar travelled by a Jan Shatabdi train from Chandigarh to cast his vote in Karnal from where he is seeking re-election.
Upon reaching Karnal, he rode a bicycle to reach the polling booth and urged people to try and make use of cycle to commute at least short distances as it will help protect environment.
Dushyant Chautala rode a tractor to reach the polling booth in Sirsa along with his wife Meghna and mother Naina Chautala.
IMAGE: Voters stand in a queue and show their voting cards at a polling station at Badkal in Faridabad. Photograph: PTI Photo
Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda cast his vote along with his family members in his constituency of Garhi Sampla-Kiloi in Rohtak.
Before exercising his vote, the two-time former chief minister and his family members offered prayers at a temple.
He was accompanied by his wife Asha Hooda, son and former MP from here Deepender Singh Hooda and daugther-in-law Sweta Mirdha.
While Khattar claimed that BJP will easily achieve its target of winning over 75 seats, Hooda claimed that Congress will make a comeback in the state.
Currently, the BJP has 48 members in the state assembly.
As many as 19,578 polling stations have been set up besides the deployment of over 75,000 security personnel.
Over 1.83 crore voters are eligible to vote that includes 85 lakh women, over one lakh service voters and 252 transgenders.
In the polls, Dushyant Chautala-led JJP, a breakaway faction of the INLD, is hoping for an improvement in its prospects following the debacle in the Lok Sabha election, in which BJP won all the 10 seats in the state.
The JJP had emerged on the scene following a feud in the Chautala clan in December last year.
The prestige of families of Haryana’s famous ‘Lals’ — Devi Lal, Bansi Lal and Bhajan Lal, who were former chief ministers–is also at stake.
The Late Bansi Lal’s daughter-in-law Kiran Choudhary (Tosham) and son Ranbir Mahendra (Badhra) are contesting as Congress candidates.
Devi Lal’s great grandson Dushyant (Uchana Kalan) and granddaughter-in-law Naina Chautala (Badhra) are fighting as JJP candidates.
Devi Lal’s grandson and former chief minister O P Chautala’s son Abhay Singh Chautala is fighting as an INLD candidate from Ellenabad.
The late Bhajan Lal’s sons Kuldeep Bishnoi (Adampur) and Chander Mohan (Panchkula) are in the fray as Congress nominees.
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