NMMC polls: Over 100 calls to report bogus voting turn out to be bogus

Though polling day did not witness any major disturbance, the city police had to handle more than 100 hoax calls, most of them claiming that bogus voting was taking place

With a voting percentage of 48.35 per cent, the polls for the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) were conducted peacefully on Wednesday, without any major untoward incidents.

There was heavy police bandobast in Navi Mumbai for the polling yesterday
There was heavy police bandobast in Navi Mumbai for the polling yesterday

However, the turnout was 4 per cent less than the previous municipal election held in 2010. That year, the voter turnout in the city was 50.66 per cent. On Wednesday, out of the (approximately) 8,15,000 registered voters, only, 3,94,061 came out to vote.

Amrish Patnigere, deputy municipal commissioner and NMMC election in-charge, told mid-day, “The turnout should be appreciated as voters usually head to their native places in this period. Our extensive campaigning before the polls urging people to vote has helped us achieve this target.”

Running around
However, the city police had a harrowing time during the day as the department received more than 100 calls related to bogus voting, and all of them turned out to be hoax calls.

Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner KL Prasad said, “From DCPs to ACPs, senior police inspectors and the city control room, everyone received numerous hoax calls related to bogus voting. After getting the information, our officials immediately reached the spots.

However, the respective poll booth officers denied that any kind of bogus voting was taking place.” Voting started at a slow pace with the voting percentage hovering around 11 per cent between 7.30 am to 9.30 am in the morning.

It gradually rose to 23 per cent by 11.30 am, and by 3.30 pm, 3,28,750 voters had cast their vote, taking the voting percentage to 41 per cent.

Due to heavy police bandobast, the voting session was conducted largely peacefully. and only a few minor quarrels were reported at a few places. Suresh Mengade, DCP Zone-1 (Crime), said, “A few minor quarrels were reported.

However, no major untoward incident was reported in the entire day as the bandobast was heavy with over 3,000 police officials posted across various polling stations.”

This time, voters were inked with markers rather than the permanent ink or dye, which is normally used. Municipal Commissioner Dinesh Waghmare said, “The traditional ink dries up in the summer season.

As a result, the state election commission had directed us to use markers instead.” The new voters in the satellite city were more than 25,000. The voting for the municipal polls was conducted at 774 polling stations across 111 wards.

Leading the way
Despite undergoing eye surgery on Tuesday night, 64-year-old S S Narayanan from Vashi went out to cast his vote yesterday. “Voting is every person’s fundamental right. I see to it that I don’t miss any chance of voting, as only we can bring about a change,” he said.

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