Lok Sabha Polls 2024 | Mumbai reports less turnout amid intense heat and humidity

A total of 13 of the total 48 seats in the state including six seats of Mumbai and four from the larger Mumbai metropolitan region went to polls.
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 14:59 IST
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 14:59 IST

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Mumbai: Amid sweltering heat and humid conditions, serpentine queues, and plaguing poll-related issues like EVM glitches, change of centres, names being struck off from electoral rolls, the financial capital of Mumbai and its far suburbs voted on Monday during the fifth phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls - the final leg for Maharashtra. 

On the other hand, the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has accused the BJP of using the Election Commission and “slowing down” the election process, which the saffron party said that they were the first to flag it to the poll body.

A total of 13 of the total 48 seats in the state including six seats of Mumbai and four from the larger Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) went to polls.

Six Mumbai seats of Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban has six Lok Sabha seats - Mumbai South, Mumbai South Central, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North-East and Mumbai North, four MMR seats of Palghar, Thane, Kalyan and Bhiwandi, and North Maharashtra seat of Dhule, Dindori and Nashik went to polls. 

According to reports reaching here, because of the heat and humidity, several senior citizens faced problems and many even returned back home without exercising franchise. “I was among the  the first to enter the polling station and still it took over 30 minutes to come out to the station,” said a resident of Vasai in the suburbs of Mumbai.

“The administration is the reason why voting is down  Wherever we have a lead, the machine is not properly arranged. Machines are shut down,” MVA leader and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena (UBT) head, told reporters. 

According to him, this is the plot of the Narendra Modi government. “This is a game played by the Election Commission. Where our percentage is going to be higher, the turnout is decreasing. The Election Commission is biased,” said Thackeray. 

However, BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said: “We were the first to complain to the commission about the slow pace of voting in Mumbai. As usual, they have started accusing Modi when the defeat is clear in front of them. They are now laying the groundwork to deal with the post-4 June  situation. Apart from this, threats are also being given to the officers involved in the election process.”

Mumbai Congress President Prof  Varsha Gaikwad, who is contesting the polls, said: “We have received concerning reports from across Mumbai of citizens waiting for several hours in the queue to vote in the heat due to slow voting process and only then being able to vote or returning frustrated without voting. Many of them say they have never waited this long to vote before. There are also complaints that this phenomenon is more visible in areas where the MVA-I.N.D.I.A. alliance has a strong presence.” 

Former minister and NCP (SP) general secretary Dr Jitendra Awhad said that there were massive queues of people waiting for three to four hours for their turn, but the elections officials were going about their duties casually, putting the masses to great inconvenience and depriving them of their voting rights. “People are not being called inside quickly, the officials are going about their job at a leisurely pace and delaying the election process,” he added.

Marathi TV host and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aadesh Bandekar said: “There was a malfunction in the EVM at a polling station in Powai, with huge crowds queuing up to cast their votes, but after waiting hours, many disappointed people returned without voting.”

Published 20 May 2024, 14:59 IST

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