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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019: In Aaditya Thackeray’s Worli seat, Shiv Sena rushes to get voters to booth

The poor numbers became a cause for concern for the Shiv Sena, whose senior leaders and top party workers have been campaigning around-the-clock for Aaditya Thackeray.

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 22, 2019 09:28 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Voters wait for their turn at a polling booth in Worli during the Maharashtra assembly election, October 21, 2019.
Voters wait for their turn at a polling booth in Worli during the Maharashtra assembly election, October 21, 2019.(HT Photo )
         

The Worli Assembly constituency, which is being watched this poll season for being Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray’s choice to contest his first election, saw low voter turnout in the first half of Monday, even though it caught up during the second half.

In the 2014 assembly elections, it had recorded 55.93% voter turnout, and in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it had recorded 51.98% turnout.

The poor numbers became a cause for concern for the Shiv Sena, whose senior leaders and top party workers have been campaigning around-the-clock for Aaditya. The party then started actively getting voters to the booth.Worli recorded 50.20% voter turnout on Monday. At 9am, Worli had recorded 4.94% turnout, at 11am it recorded 14.25%, further at 2pm, Worli recorded 25.13%, and 43.82% at 5pm.

The Shiv Sena brought its top leaders to the constituency to encourage people to vote, including Aaditya, sitting member of legislative assembly (MLA) Sunil Shinde, and former MLA Sachin Ahir.

Party workers realised voters were unaware about the no-phone policy at polling stations, and were returning home without voting because they had no place to keep their phones. Shinde added. “The Sena began to specify to people at their information desk to leave phones behind,” he said.

Sachin Ahir said, “Voter turnout from high-rises was lower than expected. In the second half, party workers went to people’s homes and urged them to vote, in areas where the voting was low.”

A lot of women did not vote in the first half because they have to fill water, so Sena members helped them to the polling station in the latter half of the day.

Adding to their woes, three electronic voting machines (EVMs) were not working at a polling booth in Worli, before they were replaced by the election commission. Shinde said, “The voting percentage in the morning was low, because the EVMs were slow. People gave up and left, especially those with private jobs. Sena sent 12-13 complaints to the election commission about EVMs.”