Barring an incident of firing by Naxalites in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district, polling was on Tuesday by and large peaceful in the western state, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh with low to moderate turnout being reported in the first few hours.
In Gadchiroli district where 17 policemen were shot dead by the Maoists on October 8, Naxalites opened fire at a patrol party near Kasansur in Aheri block shortly before polling commenced. No one was injured, police said, adding security forces did not retaliate.
Over 1.29 lakh state police and central forces have been deployed across the state where voting is being held for 288 Assembly seats, DGP (Elections) A N Roy said.
Over ten per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise in the first three hours. Among the early voters were Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Vilasrao Deshmukh, industrialist Anil Ambani, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
The fate of 3,559 candidates, including Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, his deputy Chhagan Bhujbal and 37 ministers will be decided by the electorate comprising 7,56,34,525 voters.
In suburban Bandra, Congress MLA Janardhan Chandurkar from suburban Bandra was questioned by police over allegations that he distributed money to lure voters.
In Haryana, at least 10 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in the first three hours of polling for 90 assembly constituencies, election officials said.
Long queues were seen in front of most booths in Arunachal Pradesh where elections to 57 seats in the 60-member Arunachal assembly are being held.