Counting of votes for Maharashtra Assembly polls and Satara Lok Sabha bypoll, held on Monday, will begin at 8 am on Thursday, election officials said. Exit polls have predicted that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will retain power comfortably. Around 25,000 personnel have been deployed on counting duty, an election official said on Wednesday. Police have also made adequate arrangements to ensure the counting passes off peacefully, he added.
Counting of votes for the 288 Assembly segments will be conducted at 269 locations, the officials said. The polling held on Monday saw a voter turnout of 61.13 per cent, a dip from the 63.20 per cent recorded in 2014, the official said. The highest turnout, of 83.93 per cent, was reported in the Karveer assembly seat in Kolhapur, while the lowest was in south Mumbai’s upmarket Colaba area at 40.11 per cent.
In the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll, also held on Monday, the voter turnout was 67.15 per cent, the official said. The bypoll was necessitated after NCP MP Udayanraje Bhosale quit the party and his Lok Sabha seat and joined the ruling BJP, which renominated him from the constituency.
The ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine is arrayed against the opposition Congress-NCP with the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi being the dominant player among the other parties. Most exit polls, released immediately after polling ended on Monday evening, have given the ruling alliance a comfortable majority in the 288-member Assembly.
The state has 8,98,39,600 eligible voters, including 1,06,76,013 in the age group of 18 to 25 years. Nearly 6.5 lakh polling personnel were deployed at 96,661 polling booths across the state on election day.