Home >politics >policy >Lok Sabha elections: Mumbai sees 55% turnout after slow start

Mumbai: Polling got off to a slow start in Mumbai and picked up slightly later in the day, with India’s financial capital seeing 55% voter turnout at the end of the day, according to initial estimates.

But this voter turnout in Mumbai is better than that recorded in 2009 when only 41.5% of the electorate exercised its franchise.

The overall voting percentage across Maharashtra, where 338 candidates are testing electoral waters in 19 Lok Sabha seats, was at 56.26%, according to state election commission officials. The numbers may go up as the data is still being collated, the officials said.

The constituency-wise voting percentage in the constituencies were: Nandurbar-ST (62 %), Dhule (59 %), Jalgaon (56 %), Raver (58%), Jalna (63 %), Aurangabad (59 %), Dindori-ST (64%), Nashik (58%), Palghar (60%), Bhiwandi (43%), Kalyan (42%), Thane (52%), Mumbai North (52%), Mumbai North West (60%), Mumbai North East (53%), Mumbai North Central (55%), Mumbai South Central (55%), Mumbai South (54%) and Raigad (64%).

Prominent candidates in the poll arena include public works department (PWD) minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal (Nashik), Union minister Milind Deora (Mumbai South) of Congress and water resources minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sunil Tatkare (Raigad).

Of the 338 candidates in the electoral fray, 149 are independents and 26 women. Of the total 31.7 million voters eligible to vote on Thursday, 17 million are men and 14.6 million are women.

Many prominent Mumbaikars such as Videocon Industries Ltd’s chairman Venugopal Dhoot and IDFC Ltd’s chairman Rajiv Lall cast their votes in Malabar Hills, which is part of South Mumbai constituency from where Deora of the Congress party is seeking re-election.

The South Mumbai constituency reported the lowest polling figures of 39% in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. This time 54% voted. The voter turnout in Mumbai North was 52%, state election commission officials said.

Deepak Parekh, chairman of mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd (HDFC), had to return without exercising his franchise because his name didn’t figure on the voters list.

“I have been voting at the polling station located in Activity School on Pedder Road as long as I can recall and never such incident happened," Parekh said. “I had carried all my identity papers but still I was not able to vote."

Thane (2 million voters) is the largest parliamentary seat while Mumbai South central (1.4 million voters) is the smallest. There are 121 candidates from registered political parties other than recognized national and state parties. The BJP is contesting 11, Shiv Sena 8, Congress 10, NCP 8, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) 7, CPI 2 and CPM 3 seats.

In the three-phase elections in the state, 10 seats in Vidarbha region went to polls on 10 April, while voting for 19 seats in Marathwada and Western Maharashtra regions was held on 17 April.

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