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7.4 per cent turnout recorded in eight Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra till 9 am in second phase

Voting started at 7 am in Buldhana, Akola, Amravati, Wardha and Yavatmal-Washim seats in the west Vidarbha region and Hingoli, Nanded and Parbhani constituencies in Marathwada, and will end at 6 pm, officials said.
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 07:18 IST
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 07:18 IST

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Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar: Nearly 7.4 per cent of the 1.49 crore eligible voters cast their ballots till 9 am in eight Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra in the second phase of general elections on Friday, officials said.

Voting started at 7 am in Buldhana, Akola, Amravati, Wardha and Yavatmal-Washim seats in the west Vidarbha region and Hingoli, Nanded and Parbhani constituencies in Marathwada, and will end at 6 pm, officials said.

Till 9 am, the Nanded constituency recorded 7.73 per cent voting. It stood at 7.23 per cent in Hingoli, 9.72 per cent in Parbhani, Wardha (7.18), Akola (7.17), Amravati (6.34), Buldhana (6.61) and Yavatmal-Washim (7.23), they said, adding that the average turnout recorded in these eight seats is about 7.4 per cent.

Former chief minister Ashok Chavan, who recently switched over from the Congress to the BJP, was among the early voters in the Nanded constituency.

As many as 1.49 crore voters, including 77,21,374 men, 72,04,106 women, and 432 persons from the third-gender category, are eligible to cast their ballot across 16,589 polling centres to seal the fate of 204 candidates in the fray in the eight seats.

Of the 204 candidates in the fray, there are 21 in Buldhana, 15 in Akola, 37 in Amravati, 24 in Wardha, 17 in Yavatmal-Washim, 33 in Hingoli, 23 in Nanded, and 34 contestants in Parbhani seat.

On April 19, five seats in east Vidarbha— Nagpur, Ramtek, Chandrapur, Bhandara-Gondia and Gadchiroli-Chimur, went to polls, registering a voter turnout of 63.70 per cent.

Buldhana, Yavatmal-Washim and Hingoli are seeing a direct contest between the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena (UBT).

The undivided Shiv Sena contested the last general elections in the state in alliance with the BJP. It split in 2022 after Shinde led a rebellion, sunk the then Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and sided with the BJP to become the CM.

In Buldhana, sitting Shiv Sena MP Prataprao Jadhav is pitted against Narendra Khedekar of Sena (UBT).

The Shiv Sena has nominated Rajashri Patil in Yavatmal-Washim, dropping sitting MP Bhavana Gawli. Patil is pitted against Sanjay Deshmukh of the Thackeray-led party.

In Hingoli, Rajashtri Patil's husband and sitting MP Hemant Patil was replaced by the Shiv Sena, which gave the ticket to Baburao Kohalikar. The Sena nominee is contesting against Nagesh Patil Ashtikar of Sena (UBT).

In Parbhani, Mahadev Jankar of Rashtriya Samaj Paksha is contesting against MP Sanjay Jadhav, nominated by the Shiv Sena (UBT).

Jankar has been backed by the ruling Mahayuti alliance, comprising BJP, Shiv Shinde Sena and Ajit Pawar-led NCP.

Dr B R Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar, who heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), has fielded candidates in seven seats, including himself from Akola. His brother Anandraj Ambedkar is in the fray in Amravati as a Republican Sena nominee.

In Akola, the contest is between Anup Dhotre of BJP and Abhay Patil of Congress, with Prakash Ambedkar as the third candidate.

Amravati is seeing a battle between MP Navneet Rana, now contesting as a BJP nominee, against Balwant Wankhede of Congress. Dinesh Bub is the Prahar Janshakti Party candidate. The Prahar party, which has two legislators in the assembly, is an ally of the ruling coalition.

In Wardha, there is a fight between former Congress MLA Amar Kale, contesting on the symbol of the NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) — “a man blowing turha” (a traditional trumpet), against BJP MP Ramdas Tadas.

In Nanded, BJP MP Pratap Chikhalikar is pitted against Congress nominee Vasant Chavan.

Maharashtra, which has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after Uttar Pradesh, will vote in three more phases between May 7 and May 20.

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Published 26 April 2024, 07:18 IST

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