Mumbai: The polling for 12,711 of the total 14,234 gram panchayats in 34 districts on Friday completed with 79% voters exercised their franchise.
The polling passed off peacefully barring few instances of clashes. State Election Commissioner UPS Madan said the general elections for about 14,234 gram panchayats in the state were announced on December 11, 2020 but in some of these gram panchayat elections have been held.
In all 3,56, 221 candidates were in fray of which 26,718 were declared unopposed. Ultimately, 2,14,880 remained in the fray for 1, 25, 709 seats. This was the maiden election in which the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi partners were pitted against the BJP. The polling was for a total 46,921 wards. The state election commission had cancelled the election process for Umrane gram panchayat in Nashik and Khondamali gram panchayat in Nandurbar after the state machinery found substance in the reports of auctions for the post of village sarpanch and panchayat members.
Clashes were reported near polling stations in Bhiwandi, Daund and Solapur. In the naxal affected Gadchiroli district, tribal voters walked five to ten kilometers to cast their votes. Despite the naxal menace, the tribal voters came in a large number to participate in today’s polling which took place incident free amid tight security.
In Solapur district, two groups hurled stones at each other during the polls. In Tale Hipparga village in North Solapur taluka, there was a dispute between two groups over voting.
The altercation soon escalated into a brawl. The two groups then hurled stones at each other. Three to four activists from both groups were injured in the pelting.
A dispute broke out between two groups near the polling station in Kusegaon. In Kolhapur and Nashik districts, voters complained about the breakdown of EVMs. The voting resumed after EVMs were repaired. In Ahmednagar district of 767 gram panchayats, elections in 53 gram panchayats were reported unopposed.