Mumbaikars cast his during the BMC Election at Behram Baug in Jogeshwari, Mumbai early in the morning. Pics/Nimesh Dave
About 56 per cent voters today exercised their franchise in the polling for 10 municipal corporations across Maharashtra, including the all-important Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai.
55 per cent voting was recorded for BMC polls, eclipsing the last poll percentage by almost 10 per cent.
The turn-out for 11 Zilla Parishads and 118 Panchayat Samiti polls in the state was 69 per cent, election officials said.
Polling began at 7.30 AM at 43,160 polling stations across the state. In Mumbai, voting picked up as the day progressed with
several politicians and film celebrities and industry figures stepping out to exercise their franchise.
The impressive polling in Mumbai -- compared to 2012-- has brought cheer to leaders of BJP as the party is seeking to wrest control of India's richest civic body from its bickering alliance partner in the state government, the Shiv Sena.
The Maharashtra state election commission released the primary figures of polling across nine municipal corporations (besides Mumbai) in the state late in the evening.
These are as follows: Thane (58 per cent), Ulhasnagar (48 per cent), Pune (54 per cent), Pimpri Chinchwad (67 per cent), Solapur (60 per cent), Nashik (60 per cent), Akola (56 per cent), Amravati (55 per cent) and Nagpur (53 per cent).
The rural areas where Zilla Parishad elections were held fared better than the cities.
The district-wise percentage for ZP elections is as follows: Raigad (71), Ratnagiri (64), Sindhudurg (70), Nashik (68), Pune (70), Satara (70), Sangli (65), Solapur (68), Kolhapur (70), Amravati (67) and Gadchiroli (68). The average percentage of turn-out for ZP polls was at 69.43 per cent.
The stakes are high for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who have led their respective parties from the front and were involved in a high decibel and no holds barred campaign relegating the Opposition Congress and NCP to the background. Polling began at 7.30 AM at 43,160 polling stations spread across the state.
The districts going to polls in the second phase are Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Pune, Solapur, Nashik, Amravati and Gadchiroli. Elections are being held in 118 panchayat samitis in these districts. The ten municipal corporations include Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.
As many as 43,160 polling booths have been set up. There will be 2.76 lakh election staff and equal number of police personnel on the duty. More than 1.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the zilla parishads and panchayat samitis while 1.95 crore urban voters will in the ten Municipal corporations.
In Mumbai, the country's financial capital, there are 2275 candidates and 92 lakh voters. The election result for Asia's largest civic body which has been run by the Shiv Sena supported by the BJP for the last two decades will decide the fate of the Devendra Fadnavis government.
In municipal corporations excluding Mumbai, there are multi-member wards where a voter will have to cast his vote for each of the category in the panel. Each panel has more than two wards.
The big poll focus is on 227-member Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), retaining control of which is vital for Shiv Sena as the city has remained its prime political space ever since the party's formation in 1966. Shiv Sena has been in power in BMC for over two decades.
Municipal elections percentage till 3.30 pm
Brihanmumbai - 52.17
Thane - 53.11
Ulhasnagar - 46.83
Nashik - 52.63
Pune - 49.52
Pimpri Chinchwad - 51.86
Solapur - 44.00
Amravati - 51.62
Akola - 42.39
Nagpur - 49.95