Lok Sabha elections 2019| So far, so good: Parties on Maharashtra’s sweet 60% turnout | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha elections 2019| So far, so good: Parties on Maharashtra’s sweet 60% turnout

Mumbai | By
Apr 25, 2019 08:17 AM IST

The BJP is claiming that they have succeeded in retaining their voters, while the main Opposition parties — Congress and NCP — said voters have switched sides this time.

With the conclusion of three phases of the general elections in Maharashtra, the average voting in the five regions of the state has remained more or less the same from 2014— in the range of 60%. Except in Konkan and north Maharashtra, where the voter turnout has reduced by around two per cent. The western Maharashtra has seen only a slight rise in polling, that too by not even one per cent, while in Marathwada and Vidarbha, it remained almost the same.

With the conclusion of three phases of the general elections in Maharashtra, the average voting in the five regions of the state has remained more or less the same from 2014— in the range of 60%.(Hindustan Times)
With the conclusion of three phases of the general elections in Maharashtra, the average voting in the five regions of the state has remained more or less the same from 2014— in the range of 60%.(Hindustan Times)

The BJP is claiming that they have succeeded in retaining their voters, while the main Opposition parties — Congress and NCP — said voters have switched sides this time.

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So far, 31 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state have gone to polls, covering five regions —Vidarbha, Marathwada, western Maharashtra, north Maharashtra and Konkan. Of them, polls were concluded on all ten and eights seats of Vidarbha and Marathwada respectively, while three seats from western Maharashtra, four from the Konkan region, six from Mumbai and four from north Maharashtra are going to polls on April 29.

A look at the elections held in all these regions shows that the poll percentage by and large remained stagnant. It has increased in western Maharashtra by 0.57%; Marathwada has got 64.31% this time and in 2014, the poll percentage of the region was 64.27%.

Konkan, which is considered as Shiv Sena’s bastion, the poll percentage together of the two Lok Sabha seats — Raigad and Ratnagiri-Ratnagiri — decreased by around three per cent. This time, it is 61.75%, whereas in 2014, it was 64.98%. North Maharashtra too saw a drop in poll percentage by 1.83%. This time, the voter turnout is 60.62%, whereas in 2014 it was 62.45%.

State BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said these figures indicate that voters are not seeking change, or else the turnout would have been very high. “Whenever people seek change, the voter turnout increases massively, which was not the case this time. Slightly less turnout also means anti-establishment voters have not come out to vote, which indicates that results will be in our favour,” Bhandari said.

Anil Desai, senior Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP, said statistics show the poll percentage by and large remained steady for them. According to Desai, it indicates our MPs have done a good job and people have liked the government’s policies. Accordingly, anti-incumbency also comes in question and it overrides the same as well, he added. When asked about Konkan, he replied, “Weather is also a factor as people avoid coming out to vote in the heat,” he said.

“Voters have switched sides this time and we are confident the Congress-NCP alliance will get a sizeable number of seats. One cannot draw the same conclusion from the fluctuation of voting percentage every time. We are confident the opposition is winning around 18 of the 31 seats contested so far,” said Manikrao Thakre, former state Congress president, who is contesting from Yavatmal-Washim.

Political expert Pratap Aasbe is of the same view. “Unless the voting percentage increases very high, like above five percent or very low, it is very difficult to draw a conclusion as the equation is not the same every time and things also differ with constituencies and the local issues. What we are observing is that there is no Modi wave and BJP-Shiv Sena combine will not be able to repeat their performance. Nawab Malik, NCP spokesperson, said, “The comparative figures indicate that the core voter of the BJP is upset and so are the common voters and thus, polling didn’t go up. We believe the Congress-NCP alliance has done very well so far and we are winning more than 50% of the seats in the state this time,” Malik said.

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