Maharashtra Assembly Polls: Mumbai's northwest gets thumbs up for poll management

Updated: Oct 22, 2019, 09:09 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Voters happy with the help provided by school students who were present at some polling booths; seniors got help finding their names on voting lists and assistance with wheelchairs

I J Patel high school students volunteer to help senior citizens at Gandhi Shiksha Bhavan polling booth in Juhu. Pic/Satej Shinde
I J Patel high school students volunteer to help senior citizens at Gandhi Shiksha Bhavan polling booth in Juhu. Pic/Satej Shinde

While many voters had faced problems like names missing from the voting list during the Lok Sabha elections, this time it seems the state election commission (SEC) has been able to manage the process in a better way. Apart from a few glitches here and there, voting at six assembly constituencies of Mumbai northwest went off smoothly.

According to the SEC figures, of the six constituencies in Mumbai northwest, Andheri West recorded 39.99 per cent turnout, Andheri East 50.98 per cent, Versova 42.46 per cent, Goregaon 42.49 per cent, Jogeshwari East 48.85 per cent and Dindoshi 53.12 per cent.

The students who helped senior citizens at Vidyanidhi School
The students who helped senior citizens at Vidyanidhi School

To ensure that senior citizens were not inconvenienced, school students were present at some of the polling booths to assist them.

At the Vidyanidhi School polling centre in Juhu, five Std IX students – Sujal Chipte, Shashikant Chorge, Kunal Rewale, Sameer Chavan and Akshat Kadam – were spotted helping senior citizens. Speaking to mid-day, Rewale said, "Since morning my friends and I are helping senior citizens find their names in the voting list. We also provided wheelchairs to some of them."

First time voter Prathamesh Kawde
First time voter Prathamesh Kawde

First time voter Prathamesh Kawde from Versova constituency said, "I am proud to cast my vote for the first time as it is our responsibility to elect eligible public representatives who will address the problems of our constituency." Proper arrangements were in place to address voters' queries and also to help senior citizens with ramps and wheelchairs.

Shanta Bhadarka, whose name was missing from the voting list, faced a lot of difficulties at the polling booth in Gyan Kendra of Versova constituency.

Aarey Milk Colony voter Uday Sangle
Aarey Milk Colony voter Uday Sangle

He said, "Despite being a regular voter for more than 30 years, my name is missing from the list. I faced the same problem during the Lok Sabha elections."

Heavy police bandobast was in place at all the polling booths in northwest and help centres had also been set up.

Shanta Bhadarka, whose name was missing from the list
Shanta Bhadarka, whose name was missing from the list

In Aarey Milk Colony of Jogeshwari East constituency more arrangements were made anticipating rain. Voter Udya Sangle said, "We were fearing a lot of inconvenience due to rain but the election commission had made the best of arrangements."

Kamal Raut couldn't wait to cast her vote
Kamal Raut couldn't wait to cast her vote

91-year-old delighted to vote

While 40 per cent of the people chose not to venture out to vote, Kamal Kashinath Raut, 91, couldn't wait to make her way to the polling booth. When the Borivli resident's son Pradeep, a former Tata Power and Rajasthan SC cricketer, asked his mother whether she would vote, he got an emphatic yes. Pradeep brought his mother down in a chair from their third floor residence and then accompanied her in a vehicle to the polling booth. A wheelchair at the Anandibai Kale School helped her get in, but not before cheers and gestures of respect, right from the guard at the gate to the election staff.

Disha Duggal
Disha Duggal

First-timer votes for the 'lesser evil'

Twenty three-year-old Disha Duggal was proud to cast her vote at the St Anne's School in Pali Hill for the first time. Duggal had missed out on voting earlier, as she was studying in Pune. When she arrived at the polling centre, she found no crowds and the process went off smoothly.

Suman and her husband KT Singh
Suman and her husband KT Singh

Poll officer's on ground experience

After watching others vote for the past two decades, 47-year-old Suman Singh was thrilled to finally vote like everyone else for the first time. Singh, an assistant headmistress at a school, had been on election duty for the past 24 years. Husband KT Singh came with her.

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