Like Mumbai, voter turnout in the other nine cities of Maharashtra that went in for civic polls on Thursday remained unimpressive. This is likely to benefit the ruling parties, which in most of these cities is either the Congress or the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Neighbouring Thane, known to be a Shiv Sena-BJP bastion, saw a 52% turnout, four per cent lower than it was in 2007. This is likely to hurt the Congress and NCP, who partnered for the first time to take on the Sena-BJP combine in Thane.
Neighbouring Ulhasnagar did better by polling two per cent more than it did in the previous civic elections.
Western Maharashtra, where three municipal corporations went to polls, saw a moderate turnout. In Pune, a city on the NCP’s radar, the polling numbers were marginally better than earlier.
The NCP and the Congress are pitted against each other here, and NCP leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has a lot at stake. Pimpri-Chinchwad, known to be Pawar’s stronghold, saw the same voter turnout as the last election.
In Solapur, where Ajit Pawar’s uncle Sharad Pawar has locked horns with Congress Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde, polling percentages were marginally lower than they were in 2007. This time, Shinde had stayed back in Solapur to ensure his party managed affairs better.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has high hopes from Nashik, which reported a 58% voter turnout. In Nagpur, the BJP is expected to repeat a victory with the city having polled less than what it did five years ago.
Voter turnouts in Amravati and Akola slipped further this year, with 58% and 57% polling respectively. In comparison, Amravati saw 60.53% polling in 2007, while the turnout at Akola was 62.65% during the previous elections.