July 20, 2024
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
Politics

Mumbai Voter Turnout Declines Amid Polling Delays and Heat

Mumbai

Mumbai witnessed a voter turnout of 52.27 percent in the general elections on Monday, a decrease from the 55.38 percent recorded in 2019. The sultry weather and complaints about delays in the polling process contributed to the lower turnout. Mumbai South had the lowest turnout at 47.7 percent. The polling percentages in other constituencies were: North at 55.21 percent, North Central at 51.42 percent, North East at 53.75 percent, North West at 53.67 percent, and South Central at 51.88 percent, according to Election Commission data.

Several voters reported long wait times, with some leaving without voting after waiting for hours. Uddhav Thackeray, chief of Sena (UBT), claimed that the delays were deliberate. In Goregaon East, a senior citizen voter reported a wait time of one and a half hours. Thackeray accused the Election Commission of partiality, alleging delays by its representatives in certain areas.

Priyanka Chaturvedi, a Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha member, criticized the Election Commission for not providing enough voting machines, leading to long queues. She observed that people who arrived at polling stations at 7.30 am were still voting at 10 am. Congress candidate Varsha Gaikwad from North Central also reported complaints from voters about inadequate facilities and long waits.

The high humidity and a maximum temperature of 35 degrees Celsius added to the voters’ discomfort. Prominent candidates included Union Minister Piyush Goyal against Bhushan Patil of Congress in North, Sanjay Dina Patil of Sena (UBT) versus Mihir Kotecha of BJP in Mumbai North East, and Advocate Ujjwal Nikam of BJP against Varsha Gaikwad in Mumbai North Central. In Mumbai North West, Amol Kirtikar of Sena (UBT) faced Ravindra Waikar of Shiv Sena, while Anil Desai of Sena (UBT) contested Rahul Shewale of Shiv Sena in Mumbai South Central, and Arvind Sawant of Sena (UBT) was up against Yamini Jadhav of Shiv Sena in Mumbai South.

Notable voters included industrialists Anil and Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, and film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and others. The overall voting percentage in the 13 constituencies in Maharashtra where polling was held in the final phase was 54.22 percent.

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