India General Elections 2024: Shantigiri Maharaj, independent candidate from Nashik, booked for garlanding EVM enclosure

20 May,2024 04:40 PM IST |  Nashik  |  mid-day online correspondent

Shantigiri Maharaj pulled a garland from his neck & placed it on EVM enclosure before casting his ballot amid fifth phase of India General Elections 2024.

Shantigiri Maharaj/ Ashish Raje

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The police have filed a case against spiritual leader Shantigiri Maharaj, an independent candidate, for allegedly breaking the Model Code of Conduct by garlanding the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) closure while exercising his franchise in Nashik constituency during fifth phase of India General Elections 2024 on Monday, said an official.

According to a PTI report, a polling official filed a complaint against the spiritual leader who was at the polling station at MVP College in Trimbakeshwar to vote, accompanied by 25 to 30 individuals.

According to the PTI report, Shantigiri Maharaj pulled a garland from his neck and placed it on the EVM enclosure before casting his ballot amid fifth phase of the India General Elections 2024.

The official told PTI that the Trimbakeshwar police station has registered a case under the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Representative of the People Act 1951, according to the official.

Meanwhile, in another incident, five Shantigiri Maharaj followers were arrested for approaching polling booths in the Mhasrul and Ambad police station areas wearing support badges for the spiritual leader. Another official told the news agency that the arrested persons were eventually released.

Reportedly, at another poll booth in Old Nashik, supporters of BJP and Shiv Sena (UBT) clashed with each other while casting their votes in Phase 5 of India General Elections 2024.

Reportedly, at Doodh Bazaar polling station, supporters of BJP MLA Devyani Pharande and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Vasant Gite clashed at a polling station in Doodh Bazaar, police said.

According to the report, the BJP leader was purportedly checking voter IDs at the centre when Sena (UBT) activists surrounded her and screamed slogans, prompting BJP and Shiv Sena activists to arrive at the scene. According to reports, police responded quickly and dispersed the crowd.

Meanwhile, farmers protested outside a polling booth in Vadgaon Pangu, Chandwad, wearing onion garlands.

Voter turnout in Maharashtra

Election Commission of India's data showed that in Maharashtra, the average voter turnout stood at 38.77 per cent till 3 pm on Monday as voting for 13 seats in the fifth phase of the India General Elections 2024 in the state is underway.

Among the 13 constituencies, Bhiwandi recorded 37.06 per cent polling, Dhule 39.97 per cent, Dindori 45.95 per cent, Kalyan 32.43 per cent, Mumbai North 39.33 per cent, Mumbai North Central 37.66 per cent, Mumbai North East 39.15 per cent, Mumbai North West 39.91 per cent, Mumbai South 36.64 per cent, Mumbai South Central 38.77 per cent, Nashik 39.41 per cent, Palghar 42.48 per cent and Thane 36.07 per cent.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who voted along with his family members at a booth in Thane, told the media persons that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) is the stronghold of the Shiv Sena-BJP and exuded confidence that the Mahayuti will win all the 10 seats - six in Mumbai, three in Thane district and the Palghar seat.

With PTI inputs

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nashik maharashtra Maharashtra Lok Sabha elections 2024 Lok Sabha Elections 2024 India General Elections 2024
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