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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Punekars use rain-free day to hustle on Diwali shopping... and then voting

Voter turnout picked up in evening, after a slow start; city reported a turnout of 48% (till 6pm); Diwali holidays hamper voter turnout; lower than 2014

pune Updated: Oct 22, 2019 16:20 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Residents pose with their electoral slips/ voter ID cards as they queue outside a polling booth at Mahatma Phule school, Hadapsar, on Monday.
Residents pose with their electoral slips/ voter ID cards as they queue outside a polling booth at Mahatma Phule school, Hadapsar, on Monday.(Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

Voter turnout picked up in the afternoon and evening after a slow start in the morning on Monday.

The city reported a turnout of 5.65 per cent till 10 am but, by 12 pm voter turnout picked up to hit 15.49 per cent. By 1 pm the turnout touched 28.08 per cent and reached 41.1 per cent by 4 pm.

While the city’s climate throughout the day was bright and sunny, however, enthusiasm among voters was missing.

Santosh Naike, a resident of Narayan peth, said, “Considering heavy rainfall prediction, we went to cast our vote early in the morning at the Narayan peth polling station but there were no queues.”

Considering the long weekend and Diwali season most of the people preferred to utilise the election holiday for Diwali shopping.

Areas like Laxmi road, Kumthekar road and Bajirao road experienced heavy traffic jams on Monday with shopping crowds flocking the areas.

Mrunal Ghode, a commuter, said,” Traffic situation was at its worst on Kumthekar road on Monday. Due to extended weekend many people were out shopping for Diwali.In front of Tulsibaug even the traffic cops were finding it difficult to handle the traffic situation.”

Vaibhav Motghare, a commuter, said, “As Diwali is around the corner the fare of private tour operators has increased and so most of my friends preferred to stay in city and utilised holiday for shopping. And hence most of the city roads were flooded with traffic.”

Sharp dip in voter turnout in rural Pune as compared to 2014

Maharashtra Assembly elections held on Monday saw a low voter turnout in the city. Rural areas in Pune fared better, with voters there showing more enthusiasm. However, despite their enthusiasm, the voting percentage in the rural constituencies was less as compared to 2014 elections.

Indapur assembly constituency recorded the highest voter turnout of 74.25 per cent. In 2014 this constituency recorded 78.77 voting percentage. BJP’s Harshwardhan Patil is pitted against Congress party candidate and sitting MLA Mama Bharne.

Indapur was followed by Ambegaon and Maval, that recorded 69 per cent and 64.36 per cent respectively. However, Baramati recorded 64.06 per cent voter turnout. There will be straight fight between BJP’s Bala Bhegade and NCP’s Sunil Shelke in Maval. Sena has four seats in Pune district- Pimpri, Junnar, Purandar and Khed- Alandi. Among these, Cong-NCP is likely to give a tough fight in three constituencies- Purandar, Khed and Junnar, said political observers.

Luke warm response from residents of housing societies in Pimpri-Chinchwad

The housing societies in Pimpri-Chinchwad area showed lukewarm response for voting on Monday. There was no enthusiasm reported among the urban pockets of the city since morning.

Santosh Maskar, chairman of Roseland Residency housing society located in Pimple Saudagar said, “There was no enthusiasm among residents of Pimple Saudagar housing societies. it may be because of extended weekend.”

Ashok Biswas, secretary, Kendriya Vihar housing society, Moshi, said, “It is the duty of every citizens to franchise their vote but, people preferred to stay indoor.”

Manoj Varma, resident of Wakad, said, “The response urban people are very low not even 50%, I observed.