Mumbai/Nagpur, Feb 21: Registering an overall increase in the percentage of voting from the last elections, the polling to ten Maharashtra municipal corporations including Mumbai, and 11 ZPs and 118 Panchayats came to end on Tuesday evening.
Around 50 to 55 percent voters exercised their franchise in the ten municipal corporations including Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Sholapur, Nasik, Akola and Amravati.
Likewise, over 60 percent polling was recorded in the 11 Zilla Parishads and 118 Panchayats in the state on Tuesday.
The counting of votes will be taken up on February 23 and results are expected to be announced by the evening on the same day.
Among the major difficulties faced by the voters, the faulty voters’ list was one. Many a voter did not find their names registered, some had their names misspelt and some had their booths changed. Lakhs of voters remained deprived of exercising their franchise in these elections.
Of the ten municipal corporations, the elections of Mumbai have attracted the attention of the political analysts and laymen as well. The main reason was the break-up of the 25-year-old alliance of Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Both the parties came together on the issue of Hindutva and stayed together for 25 years.
But feeling neglected by the BJP after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Shiv Sena finally sought to divorce itself from the alliance and went to the polls on its own. The party was more interested in keeping its upper hand in the BMC but the BJP wanted a big share based on its performance of the 2014 elections. Their alliance broke on this issue.
The campaign that preceded the voting saw leaders stooping too low and hurling at each other the choicest slangs and indulging in criticism that crossed all the barriers of culture and civilisation.
Stalwarts like Uddhav Thackeray, chief of Shiv Sena, former chief minister Manohar Joshi, film celebrities, RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohanrao Bhagwat, Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Congress leaders voted in their respective corporation areas.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar, his son-in-law and granddaughter voted in Mumbai. But there was no NCP candidate amongst the contestants. This gave rise to the suspicion as to which party did Pawar favour in this election.
Republican leader Ramdas Athvale, Congress leader and former CM Narayan Rane also cast their votes.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis has thanked the people of the state for participating in the civic polls peacefully. In a twitter message, he thanked the people of Mumbai for record voting.