Maha civic polls: 42.8 pc voter turnout till 3.30 pm

Maha civic polls: 42.8 pc voter turnout till 3.30 pm
About 42.80 per cent voters today exercised their franchise in the first eight hours --till 3.30 in the afternoon -- of polling for 10 municipal corporations across Maharashtra, including the all-important Mumbai civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The turn-out for Zilla Parishads in the state was 48.25 per cent till 3.30 pm.

Brisk polling was underway in all the ten corporations with 42.8 per cent turnout recorded till 3.30 pm, State Election Commission officials said.

In Mumbai, the polling percentage reached 41.32 per cent till 3.30 pm, closer to the overall figure of 45 per cent in 2012. With polling ending at 5.30 pm, officials said the overall percentage will eclipse that of the last time.

Polling began at 7.30 am at 43,160 polling stations across the state.

In Mumbai, as the day progressed, voting picked up with several politicians and film celebrities and industry figures stepping out to exercise the franchise.

NCP president Sharad Pawar was among early voters in Mumbai, while Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his family voted at a  booth near Thackeray residence in Bandra.

BJP leaders, who cast their votes in the city included party's Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar, MP Poonam Mahajan and Shaina NC. Former Lok Sabha Speaker and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi and MNS chief Raj Thackeray also cast their vote in the megapolis.

In Nagpur, early voters included RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, while Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis cast his vote along with wife Amruta and mother in city's Dharampeth area at around 11.45 am.

Eminent personalities including former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro, Joint Police Commissioner Deven Bharti, Election Commissioner K S Saharia, BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta also cast their votes in Mumbai.

From Bollywood, actors Anushka Sharma, Rekha, Shreyas Talpade, Prem Chopra, Shraddha Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt's wife Manyata; filmmakers Zoya Akhtar, Gulzar, Subhash Ghai and Kunal Kapoor were seen voting.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, his wife Anjali, former cricketer Sandeep Patil also exercised the franchise here.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar cast his vote in Pune while veteran Congressman and former Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde cast the ballot in Solapur.

The 10 municipal corporations going to polls today are Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.

Also, elections are being held in 118 Panchayat Samitis across Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Pune, Solapur, Nashik, Amravati and Gadchiroli districts.

In Nashik, some voters whose names were missing from voters' list in Mhasrul locality staged a rasta roko.

A total of 3.77 crore voters will determine the fate of 17,331 candidates for 3210 seats in the second phase of polls, being seen as a "mini-general election."
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