Mumbai: With the exception of some cases of failure of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in Solapur, Nanded and Hingoli Lok Sabha constituencies, average 60 per cent voters cast their votes to elect 10 candidates from Marathwada, Vidarbha and Western Maharashtra regions, which went to poll on Thursday.
The severe drought, lack of sufficient fodder camps for cattle, scarcity of drinking water, non-cooperation from the revenue department to provide water tankers and a huge number of farmers’ suicide were the main issues before the voters.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena claimed the parties will retain all 10 seats, whereas opposition Congress-NCP claimed, they can win at least seven out of the ten seats. The voter turnout in the morning was slow till 9 am. However, more than 40 per cent voters had cast their votes by the afternoon.
In Solapur, where, the fight was between Sushilkumar Shinde of Congress, Jai Siddheshwar Swami of BJP and Prakash Ambedkar of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), it was claimed by VBA that in Kumbhari and Halchincholi villages, while pressing any button on the EVM, the votes were going in favour of the Lotus, the party symbol of the BJP. A similar complaint was registered in South Solapur and Salgar villages.
The district collector refuted the VBA claims. However, some faulty machines were replaced. In the second phase of the LS polls, Buldhana, Akola, Amravati from Vidarbha, Hingoli, Nanded, Parbhani, Beed, Osmanabad and Latur from Marathwada and Solapur from Western Maharashtra witnessed the polls.
In 2014 polls too, these ten constituencies had witnessed more than 60 per cent voting. “In 2014, there was Modi wave and all newly registered voters – basically the first time voters – which were around 10 per cent of the total voters had voted for the BJP.
That is why the voter turnout was more than 60 per cent in each constituency. However, this time, there is no Modi wave and still the voters turnout is above 60 per cent. This is a clear indication that the voters possibly have voted against the Modi government,” claimed Dhananjay Munde, leader of opposition in the legislative council.
Refuting the claims of the opposition, Ashish Shelar, BJP Mumbai city unit president, said that the Modi wave was still in force and the people have voted for the Modi government. Munde further claimed that Modi has no issues other than to criticise NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
This will prove counter-productive for the BJP. Munde claimed, “For the Congress-NCP alliance, there is a win-win situation in Buldhana, Hingoli, Nanded, Parbhani, Osmanabad, Latur and Solapur constituencies.” At present, the BJP represents Akola, Nanded, Beed, Latur and Solapur, whereas Shiv Sena represents Buldhana, Amravati, Hingoli, Parbhani and Osmanabad constituencies.