Assembly polls over in Maharashtra and Haryana, wait beings for exit polls

Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan with wife Gauri after casting their vote in Mumbai. Photo: PTI

Voting for the Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, which began early on Monday (October 21) morning, ends with a voter turnout of 53.46% and 61.09% respectively until 5:30 pm.

While Maharashtra has 288 constituencies, Haryana is voting to elect its 90-member house.

In Maharashtra, a total of 3,237 candidates, including 235 women are in the fray. An estimated 9 crore voters are expected to cast their votes.

In Haryana, a total of 1,169 candidates, including 105 women are trying their luck.

Alongside, bypolls to 51 Assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies spread over 18 states including Kerala, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Gujarat, and Chhattisgarh, are also being held.

The voting that commenced at 7 am came to an end at 6 pm.

Maharashtra:

Prominent candidates in the elections include Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis from Nagpur South-West and his predecessors from the Congress Ashok Chavan, who is contesting from Bhokar in Nanded district, and Prithviraj Chavan, who is seeking a re-election from Karad South in Satara district.

The BJP, under Fadnavis’ leadership, is seeking a second straight term in the state.

Also read: BJP eyes easy victory in Maharashtra as opposition struggles

Aaditya Thackeray, the son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, has also entered the poll fray from Worli constituency in Mumbai. The 29-year-old Yuva Sena chief is the first member from his family to make a debut in electoral politics.

The BJP has fielded its nominees in 164 Assembly seats, including candidates of smaller allies contesting on its lotus symbol, while the Sena is contesting 124 seats.

On the other hand, the opposition Congress has fielded 147 candidates and its ally NCP 121.

Rajasthan:

Polling in Mandawa and Khivsar assembly constituencies in Rajasthan began this morning amid tight security arrangements. Chief electoral officer Anand Kumar said that eight companies of central security forces have been deployed in each of the constituencies.

As many as 12 candidates, nine in Mandawa and three in Khivsar, are in the fray.

Kerala:

Braving heavy rains, early voters queued up at polling stations in the five assembly constituencies in Kerala on Monday to cast their franchise.

The ruling CPI(M)-led LDF, the main opposition Congress-headed UDF, and the BJP-NDA had put up a stiff fight to woo voters in all the five constituencies – four of which were held by the UDF and one by the LDF.

Also read: EC to hold Karnataka bypolls on Dec 5; BSY fills vacant ministerial berths

Punjab:

Voting for the four assembly seats began in Phagwara (reserve), Jalalabad, Dakha and Mukerian.

An official said that seven companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the four assembly segments. A total of 920 polling stations have been set up. Some polling stations in Dakha and Jalalabad have been categorised as ‘sensitive’.

Gujarat:

Polling in six Assembly constituencies of Tharad, Radhanpur, Kheralu, Bayad, Amraiwadi and Lunawada seats are being held.

Byelections were necessitated in Radhanpur and Bayad due to the resignations of sitting MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP. The ruling party has fielded both of them from their respective seats in the by-election.

Besides, bypolls became necessary in Tharad, Lunawada, Kheralu, and Amraiwadi after the BJP MLAs of these seats got elected to the Lok Sabha.