Maharashtra records over 55 per cent voter turnout as voting concludes for assembly elections

MUMBAI: Some 55.48 per cent people cast their vote for Maharashtra''s 288 assembly seats on Monday amid reports of malfunctioning electronic voter machines in some parts of the state.

Maharashtra records over 55 per cent voter turnout as voting concludes for assembly elections

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan (L) and his wife and film producer Gauri Khan (R) leave after casting their votes at a polling station during the state assembly election in Mumbai on Monday. AFP photo

rchopra@tribunemail.com

Tribune News Service
Mumbai, October 21

Some 55.48 per cent people cast their vote for Maharashtra's 288 assembly seats on Monday amid reports of malfunctioning electronic voter machines in some parts of the state. 

Karvir assembly segment recorded the hightest turnout at 79.19 per cent. Voting figures are only provisional and are likely to undergo changes.  

The percentage is likely to rise considering the long queues outside several polling booths, the official said.

Prominent personalities who voted include RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, CM Devendra Fadnavis, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and MNS chief Raj Thackeray.

Several Bollywood celebrities, including Aamir Khan, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Lara Dutta, stepped out to vote for the Maharashtra Assembly election.

Actor Riteish Deshmukh and wife Genelia cast their vote in Latur district, where Amit and Dheeraj, brothers of Ritesh, are contesting as Congress candidates.

A nonagenarian was the cynosure of all eyes as he accompanied Union minister Smriti Irani outside a polling booth in Mumbai.

“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.

Other urban areas like Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad reported a moderate response, while the turnout in rural areas was on the higher side, he said.

Glitches

Malfunctioning Electronic Voting Machines caused some disruption in some parts of the state on Monday and had to be replaced, officials from the Election Commission of India said.

”We have received reports of EVMs and VVPAT machines malfunctioning in Mumbai, Satara, Wardha, Aurangabad, Ratnagiri, Bhandara and Sangli,” and EC official said this afternoon. All the EVMs being used for the Maharashtra assembly elections are upgraded and linked to VVPAT machines, EC officials said.

VVPAT machines allow a voter to know whether his or her vote has been correctly cast.

According to officials, faults in the EVMs began to be reported from Aurangabad shortly after polling began at 7 am. Election authorities got reports of malfunctioning EVMs from three polling stations in the district, forcing them to hastily arrange for replacement EVMs. The disruption led to voting being delayed by an hour. In other places like Sangli and Worli in Mumbai, delays of around half-an-hour were reported.

Meanwhile, the Congress has complained of 187 instances of EVMs malfunctioning in different parts of Maharashtra.

”We have received complaints of EVMs malfunctioning from different parts of Maharashtra,” Avinash Pande, the Congress general secretary, told reporters here, and said that the party had filed 187 complaints of malfunctioning EVMs from different parts of the state.

He added that instances of votes being cast for the wrong parties were also coming to light.

The state has 8,98,39,600 voters, including 1,06,76,013 in the age group of 18 to 25. Nearly 6.5 lakh polling personnel have been deployed at 96,661 polling booths across the state.

Maharashtra recorded 63.38 per cent turnout in the 2014 Assembly election. With PTI

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