In Maharashtra: 70% voting at municipal councils elections
The elections are being touted as mini assembly polls as more than 80% people across the state are expected to participate in them. The outcome of these elections will show whether the ruling parties have managed to hold sway or the Opposition parties can make a political comeback after facing defeat in the 2014 polls.mumbai Updated: Nov 28, 2016 00:46 IST
Nearly 147 municipal councils governing small cities in 25 districts went to polls on Sunday, marking the beginning of the four-month phase-wise elections to civic bodies of 10 major cities and district councils in rural areas.
The elections are being touted as mini assembly polls as more than 80% people across the state are expected to participate in them. The outcome of these elections will show whether the ruling parties have managed to hold sway or the Opposition parties can make a political comeback after facing defeat in the 2014 polls.
The first phase also assumes significance as it is being held amidst the cash crunch crisis owing to demonetisation and could prove to be litmus test for the ruling BJP.
The state election commission registered around 70% voting on Sunday. Around 15,826 candidates were in the fray for 3,705 seats in 1,967 wards of the municipal councils and nagar panchayats. Around 658.49 lakh voters were expected to cast their vote on Sunday.
Currently, a majority of the municipal councils are being controlled by the Congress and NCP. In the backdrop of the two major victories in the general polls and Assembly polls in 2014, the BJP and its ally, Shiv Sena, were expected to give a tough fight to the two parties. However, with the state government inefficiently tackling last year’s agrarian crisis and now, the demonetisation decision affecting rural economy, the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government is likely to face an uphill task.
According to reports, voters from Raghuchiwadi village in Osmanabad district boycotted the election to protest lack of basic amenities in the village. However, the state election commission has refused to confirm the incident. “We have not received any such complaint,” said a senior official.
Meanwhile, three people were injured in Parbhani district during a quarrel between two groups, while polling for the Gangakhed municipal council was on.
In Osmanabad district, the police registered an offence under section 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC against 27 people, after two policemen were injured in stone pelting near a police station during polling for the Murum municipal council.
Around 1,013 candidates were in the fray for the post of municipal council president at 147 places.