Mumbai, Oct. 21 (PTI): Maharashtra Assembly elections held on Monday saw a voter turnout of around 63%, almost matching the 63.38 per cent polling recorded in the last state elections in 2014, while Haryana recorded a turnout of 62% at the close of polling for 90 constituencies in the assembly elections, officials said.
In Maharashtra rural areas of the state fared better, with voters there showing more enthusiasm than their urban counterparts.
Polling began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm. Altogether 54.53 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 5 pm, a poll official said.
The state has total 8,98,39,600 voters, including 1,06,76,013 in the age group of 18 to 25 years. Nearly 6.5 lakh polling personnel were deployed at 96,661 polling booths across the state.
The opposition Congress said it filed over 250 complaints of poll procedure violations with the Election Commission, including one for Ramtek segment where it said if the EVM button was pressed in favour of Congress candidate, the vote was shown to be going to the BJP nominee.
In Gadchiroli district, a 45-year-old teacher posted on election duty died in hospital after fainting while walking towards the voting booth on Monday morning, an official said.
Bapu Pandu Gavade, who was heading to the voting booth with a polling party from Dehari base camp, fainted mid-way in the morning near Pursalgondi village of Etapalli area.
In Pune, a 62-year-old man fainted while standing in the queue outside a polling station in Bhosari constituency and later died of brain hemorrhage in the hospital, police said. Abdul Rahim Shaikh, a resident of Shantinagar, was suffering from cancer for the last one year, police added.
Haryana polling that began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm was largely peaceful, barring one violent incident in Nuh, officials said.
According to the Election Commission 62 per cent of the registered voters had exercised their franchise by 6 pm, when polls closed.
However, people who had entered the polling booths before the stipulated closing time will be allowed to cast their vote, officials said. The figure of 62 per cent turnout is provisional, and may rise slightly. The final figure will be available when the data is tabulated, officials said.
The Haryana voting percentage was 76.54 per cent in the 2014 assembly elections and 70.36 in this year’s Lok Sabha elections.
The Election Commission said 1,169 candidates, including 105 women, contested this election.
The BJP led by Chief Minister M L Khattar is aiming to retain power in Haryana, and had set a target of winning 75 seats.
Currently, the BJP has 48 members in the state assembly. Haryana’s Chief Electoral Officer Anurag Agarwal said 19,578 polling stations were set up, 13,837 of them in rural areas.
Tight security arrangements were in place with over 75,000 security personnel deployed for the polls, DGP Manoj Yadava said earlier.
Over 1.83 crore voters, including 85 lakh women, were eligible to vote. The figure includes over one lakh service voters and 252 transgender people.
Exit polls forecast big win for BJP in Maha, Haryana
The BJP appeared set to return to power with a bigger mandate in Maharashtra, where it is in alliance with the Shiv Sena, and Haryana, as exit polls forecast a facile victory for the party in the two states and rout for its rivals led by the Congress.
Exit polls, broadcast soon after the polling ended, varied widely in their projection of seats for the rival alliances but an emphatic victory with more than two-third seats for the BJP-led NDA in Maharashtra and Haryana was the common theme.
The India Today-Axis exit poll projected 166-194 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly and 72-90 for the Congress-NCP alliance.
The exit poll by News18-IPSOS gave the BJP a near-majority on its own by predicting a whopping 142 seats for the party and 102 for its ally Shiv Sena. The Congress and NCP will bag 17 and 22 seats only, it has forecast.
The ABP-C Voter predicted 204 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena and 69 for the Congress-NCP.
In Haryana, the extent of a BJP win was projected to be even more dominant.
The ABP-C Voter forecast 72 and eight seats for the BJP and the Congress respectively. The CNN-IPSOS projected 75 and 10 seats for the two parties respectively.
The poll of polls brought out by the NDA gave the BJP and the Congress 66 and 14 seats respectively in Haryana, and 211 and 64 for the saffron alliance and the Congress-NCP in Maharashtra.