Mumbai votes: 53 per cent Mumbaikars turn out to vote

Apr 24, 2014, 09:33 IST | Team mid-day

Voting percentage crossed the 50% mark by the end of polling as Mumbaikars stepped out to vote. The turnout though lower than expected is higher than in 2009

Mumbai: Voter turnout in 'Maximum City' got off to a slow start in the morning but gradually picked up as the day went by. By 6 pm, the average voter turnout was around 53 per cent, better than expected after the dismal start, but not as high as some experts were expecting.

Voter turnout in the six constituencies in Mumbai till 6 pm

Mumbai North - 52 %
Mumbai North-West-50%
Mumbai North-East -53%
Mumbai North-Central - 55%
Mumbai South-Central - 55 %
Mumbai South - 54%

Maharashtra has recorded an average of 55.33 per cent voter turnout for the 19 seats that went to polls on Thursday, according to the Election Commission.

This was the third and final phase of polling in the state. The highest turnout was in Dindori (ST) at 64 per cent, while the lowest was in Kalyan at 42 per cent, election office sources said. 

In the financial captial, the voting began with citizens lining up early outside the booths a little before 7 am itself in order to beat the heat.

As voting began at 7 am, one of the first voters in Andheri (W) was an 82-year-old elderly woman Snehlata Bhatnagar, who chose to vote early in the morning to avoid longer queues and the harsh heat.

Also read: Birthday boy Sachin Tendulkar casts his vote in Mumbai

Voting begins in Mumbai
Snehlata Bhatnagar, an 82-year-old senior citizen at the polling booth. Pics/Anuradha Varanasi

Another senior citizen, Dr Keshav Mutalik (90), the former principal of Sydenham College voted around 15 minutes after Ms Bhatnagar at 7.35 am.

Both the senior citizens were proud to have cast their vote and encourage the youth to take the initiative as well.

Police officials at Mumbai North Central said that a long, winding queue had been formed by 6.30 am itself at the polling station.

However, a senior citizen couple from the same area had to go to all the other polling booths in their area after they were told that their names weren't in the list.

Lok Sabha Elections 2014: Voting begins in Mumbai
Ms Hiranandani with her husband after casting their vote

“We had voted in Vidhya Nidhi School where our polling booth is but as we were misguided we had to roam around looking for our names in the other booths,” said Shirley Hiranandani (78).

104 year old, Vithabhai Patil votes in Mumbai

104-year-old, Vithabhai Patil casted her vote at the TMC school no 16 at Kopri gaon, Thane. She reached the polling booth at 9 am. She said that her deceased husband always encouraged her to vote. The school is barely at any distance from her home and despite her family telling her to vote late, Vitabhai was adamant on going early.

Industrialists, Bollywood actors and commoners stood in same queues to vote in the six Lok Sabha constituencies that went to the polls here Thursday. Among those spotted waiting for their turn to vote were industrialist Anil Ambani, actors Aamir Khan and his wife, Suniel Shetty, Sonam Kapoor and Vidya Balan, attracting huge attention.

Photos: Bollywood celebs step out to vote

They included Milind Deora, item girl Rakhi Sawant, Sanjay Nirupam, Gopal Shetty, Mahesh Manjrekar, Poonam Mahajan, Vinod Shelar, Kirit Somaiya and Eknath Gaekwad.

Sharing the queues of industrialists, film stars and other celebs were slum dwellers, fisherfolk, tribals and migrants.

Many people were not allowed to vote because their names were not in the voting list.

Chetan Lodaya (38), a resident of Mulund, who suffers from Paraplegia, went to cast his vote at a Municipality school in Navghar Road at around 9.30 am. However, initially he was not allowed to vote as his name was missing from the voters list.

Paraplegic voter
Chetan Lodaya, a Mulund resident, who suffers from Paraplegia, want better facilities at polling booths for wheel-chair bound people. Pic/Ankoor Anvekar

"I first went there at 7.30 am, but since my name was missing I went back home and got a proof from the internet. I finally voted along with my wife at 9.30 am," said Mr Lodaya.

“I want the government to provide better facilities for wheel-chair bound people like me.” he added.

A resident of Bhayandar (W), Harish Mehta, complained that he and his family who are voting since many years were not allowed to vote as their names were not in the voting list.

Navneet and Madhu Mehta (Harish's parents) were upset because they were not allowed to vote and said, “We are very upset as we were not allowed to vote. We are voting since many years including Vidhan Sabha and Municipal Elections but never faced such problems.”

Mehta family was not the only one who was not allowed to vote, there were many others who faced similar problem. While standing in a queue, Mr Mehta witnessed approximately 12-15 voters arguing as they were not allowed to vote.

According to sources, all the residents of Dharmaya building at Bhayandar (W) were not allowed to cast their vote because of the same reason.

Voter turnout in Mumbai till 6 pm

Mumbai North - 52 %
Mumbai North-West-50%
Mumbai North-East -53%
Mumbai North-Central - 55%
Mumbai South-Central - 55 %
Mumbai South - 54%

Voter turnout in parts of Maharashtra till 6 pm

Nandurbar (ST) - 62.00%
Dhule -61.00 %
Jalgaon -56 %
Raver - 58 %
Jalna - 63 %
Aurangabad -59%
Dindori (ST) - 64%
Nashik - 60 %
Palghar (ST)- 60 %
Bhiwandi - 43 %
Kalyan - 42 %
Thane--52 %
Raigad - 64% 

Candidates come out to vote

Among the candidates from various political parties who came for voting early today were Rakhi Sawant, Punam Mahajan and Paresh Rawal.

Rakhi Sawant, voting Mumbai
Independent candidate Rakhi Sawant. Pic/Suresh KK

Independent candidate, Rakhi Sawant was left in a hassled state when the polling booth she first went to in Jogeshwari informed her that her name wasn't in the list and she would have to go to a different polling booth. After running around, Sawant said she was able to cast her vote in Hussain Allana English high school in Andheri. “Being a candidate, I am facing these problems, normal people must be suffering a lot more. I have many other people who faced a similar problem and had to visit several polling booths just to find their name on the list,” said Sawant.

Paresh Rawal and his wife Swaroop Sampat, voting Mumbai
Paresh Rawal and his wife Swaroop Sampat cast their votes at Jamnabhai Narsee School in Juhu. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Punam Mahajan with husband, voting Mumbai
Poonam Mahajan visits Supari Talo Municipal School in Bandra (W) polling booth. Pic/Suresh KK

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