About 56 per cent voters on Tuesday exercised their franchise in the polling for 10 municipal corporations across Maharashtra, including the all-important Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai.
55 per cent voting was recorded for BMC polls, eclipsing the last poll percentage by almost 10 per cent. The turn-out for 11 Zilla Parishads and 118 Panchayat Samiti polls in the state was 69 per cent, election officials said.
Polling began at 7.30 AM at 43,160 polling stations across the state.
In Mumbai, voting picked up as the day progressed with several politicians and film celebrities and industry figures stepping out to exercise their franchise.
The impressive polling in Mumbai—compared to 2012-- has brought cheer to leaders of BJP as the party is seeking to wrest control of India’s richest civic body from its bickering alliance partner in the state government, the Shiv Sena.
The Maharashtra state election commission released the primary figures of polling across nine municipal corporations (besides Mumbai) in the state late in the evening.
These are as follows: Thane (58 per cent), Ulhasnagar (48 per cent), Pune (54 per cent), Pimpri Chinchwad (67 per cent), Solapur (60 per cent), Nashik (60 per cent), Akola (56 per cent), Amravati (55 per cent) and Nagpur (53 per cent).
The rural areas where Zilla Parishad elections were held fared better than the cities.
The district-wise percentage for ZP elections is as follows: Raigad (71), Ratnagiri (64), Sindhudurg (70), Nashik (68), Pune (70), Satara (70), Sangli (65), Solapur (68), Kolhapur (70), Amravati (67) and Gadchiroli (68).
The average percentage of turn-out for ZP polls was at 69.43 per cent.
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 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.
Chief Minister Fadnavis greeted people of Mumbai for the “record” turn-out.
“Thank you Mumbai for the record voting percentage & people from all Municipal Corporations & ZP for participating in festival of democracy!” Fadnavis tweeted.