Mumbai: A moderate average of 35.70 per cent voting was recorded till 1 p.m. for the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra on Tuesday, election officials said. Voting is underway in Jalgaon, Raver, Jalna, Aurangabad, Raigad, Pune, Baramati, Ahmednagar, Madha, Sangli, Satara, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Kolhapur and Hathkanangale constituencies.
While Kolhapur recorded the highest at 42.04 per cent, the lowest was in neighbouring Pune at 27.17 per cent. The other constituencies on the higher side include Ragnagiri-Sindhudurg (39.93 per cent), Hatkanangale (39.68 per cent), Raigad (38.74 per cent), Jalna (37.91 per cent), Baramati (35.58 per cent), Aurangabad (35.42 per cent) and Raver (35.15 per cent).
Low voting was recorded in Satara (34.84 per cent), Ahmednagar (34.73 per cent), Sangli (34.56 per cent), Madha (33.41 per cent) and Jalgaon (33.12 per cent). Though disappointed by the modest voting, officials are optimistic that it will pick up pace as long queues of voters were witnessed outside polling stations in Kolhapur, Raigad, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Jalna and Satara.
The fate of 249 candidates including several political stalwarts, scions, royals and rebels including Shiv Sena Union Minister Anant Geete, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Raosaheb Danve-Patil and big political clans like the Pawars and Vikhe-Patils will be decided by the voters.
The main contests are between the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena and the opposition Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), besides the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) Dalit-Muslim front comprising Prakash Ambedkar’s Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh and Owaisi brothers’ All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, and some local/regional parties.
There are several key contests among these 14 seats, nine of which are held by the BJP-Shiv Sena, while four are with the NCP, and one with the Shetkari Swabhimani Sanghatana (SSS). There are approximately 2 crore eligible voters in this phase. Voting began at 7 a.m. and will end at 6 p.m.