Mumbai: Maharashtra recorded a moderate 57.01 per cent voting till 5 p.m for the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra which polled in third phase on Tuesday, election officials said here. 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 65.70 per cent, the lowest was in neighbouring Pune at 43.63 per cent. The other constituencies on the higher side include Hatkanangale (64.79 per cent), Jalna (59.92), Sangli (59.39), Aurangabad (58.52), Ahmednagar (57.75), Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg (57.63).
Low voting was recorded in Raver (56.98 per cent), Madha (56.41), Raigad (56.14), Baramati (55.84), Satara (55.40) and Jalgaon (52.28). Since voting would continue beyond 6 p.m, the EC officials expect that the tentative estimates could be around 60 per cent of the approximately 2 crore electorate who exercised their franchise in the 14 seats.
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 (MIM), 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). The fourth and final phase of polling for the remaining 17 Lok Sabha seats of the total 48 in the state shall be held on April 29. That phase will include the six in the country’s commercial capital, besides the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.