Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Rural Voter Turnout Surpasses Urban In Nashik

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Rural Voter Turnout Surpasses Urban In Nashik

In the Nashik constituency, 61 per cent polling was recorded, and in Dindori, 62.66 per cent polling was noted

Prashant NikaleUpdated: Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 06:53 PM IST
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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Rural Voter Turnout Surpasses Urban In Nashik |

The rural voter turnout significantly surpassed that in urban regions on Monday. Compared to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, there were 116,000 more votes cast, bringing the total to 1,238,000.

In the Nashik constituency, 61 per cent polling was recorded, and in Dindori, 62.66 per cent polling was noted. In Nashik, voter turnout increased by 1.52 per cent, while in Dindori, it fell by 2.99 per cent. The result will be announced on June 4.

Meanwhile, the average voter turnout was 53.81 per cent in 13 constituencies in the state. Due to late-night polling in some areas, there is a delay in the figures, so when the final numbers come out, there could be a 4-5 percent increase. In Nashik, Shiv Sena's Hemant Godse and Shiv Sena (UBT)'s Rajabhau Waje had a tough fight. In Dindori, Union Minister Dr Bharti Pawar and Bhaskar Bhagre of the NCP (SP) saw a close contest.

Farmers' anger in Dindori constituency

At three places in the Dindori constituency, farmers expressed their anger at the central government's delay in lifting the onion export ban. Young farmers wearing onion garlands on their way to vote in Vadgaon Pangu were convinced to vote only after removing the garlands. Similar protests were seen in Naitale and Nimgaon Wakda, where farmers wore garlands of onions and tomatoes around their necks. After being explained by the police, the farmers voted to remove the garlands.

Despite the high temperature of 40.5 degrees Celsius, Nashik witnessed a voter turnout of 61 per cent. This increase, although partial, highlights the rise in the number of voters. The main contest is between Hemant Godse of Mahayuti and Rajabhau Waje of Maha Vikas Aghadi. Waje's rural representation created a noticeable urban-rural voting trend, with higher percentages in the Sinnar and Igatpuri constituencies. However, Nashik West, which had given Godse a significant lead last time, saw a voting increase to 60 per cent, making the final phase decisive.

Division of Maratha vote; no OBC unity

All four major candidates are Marathas, leading to a division within the Maratha community. Unlike in previous elections, Maratha votes will not be as decisive. The OBC community, which had previously leaned towards BJP-Shiv Sena, is also divided this year. Chhagan Bhujbal's candidacy is a key issue for OBC leaders, and without unity, these votes are expected to split.

Dalit-Muslim voting effective

Dalit and Muslim votes are likely to favour Maha Vikas Aghadi, influenced by the ongoing rumours about the BJP changing the Constitution. In the previous election, Pawan Pawar of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) garnered significant Dalit support. This year, despite the VBA fielding a Maratha candidate in a social engineering effort, it seems to have limited success, leading to a failure in dividing Dalit votes effectively.

Advantage of loyal Shiv Sainiks

BJP cadres were actively supporting Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena in the final stages. However, party leaders were seen joining Shiv Sena after the split, resulting in relatively fewer Shiv Sainik cadres. Mahayuti had to work hard to set up the booth system, whereas loyal Shiv Sainiks effectively brought voters to the polling stations, benefiting Maha Vikas Aghadi.

Case against Shantigiri Maharaj for MCC violation

Independent candidate from Nashik, Shantigiri Maharaj, on voting day put a garland on the voting booth. A case has been filed against him for violation of the model code of conduct, and a criminal case has been registered. He took out a garland from his neck and put it on the election booth inside the voting room. The media representatives captured this moment and it went viral.

“I have not violated any rule. I was just praying for Bharat Mata and democracy. It was showcased wrongly. The case filed against me is itself illegal. I will fight against this in court with the help of advocates.

108 model polling booths in Nashik

In a significant move to improve the voting experience and increase voter turnout in the Nashik district for the Lok Sabha general elections, 108 model polling booths were set up under the guidance of Collector and District Election Officer Jalaj Sharma and Zilha Parishad Chief Executive Officer Ashima Mittal.

In response to the Election Commission's directive, Nashik district constructed a total of 108 model polling booths, with each constituency featuring unique themes to enhance voter engagement. Among these, there were two general model polling booths, two women-special polling booths, and one differently-abled-special polling booth.

To boost voter turnout in Nashik, Dindori, and Dhule Lok Sabha constituencies, the Election Commission suggested implementing model polling booths throughout the district. These booths were adorned with various thematic decorations, including selfie points, rangoli designs, and voting awareness banners. Special attention was given to the decoration and beautification of polling stations designed specifically for women, youth, and differently-abled voters.

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