BMC polls: Mumbai’s voter turnout touches 41.33% by 3.30pm
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BMC polls: Mumbai’s voter turnout touches 41.33% by 3.30pm

The voter turnout till 9.30am was especially on the higher side in areas such as Borivli, Goregaon, Malad, Andheri, Worli and Bandra East, where polling touched or crossed 8%. Polling in Borivli touched 9.91%, 8.68% in Goregaon, 8.43% in Bandra East, and 8% in Worli and Andheri

mumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2017 17:32 IST
Manasi Phadke
Manasi Phadke
Hindustan Times
BMC polls,Mumbai,elections
People stand in a queue to cast their vote outside a polling both at Cuffe Parade.(BHUSHAN KOYANDE)

Mumbai’s voter turnout for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Council (BMC) elections on Tuesday touched 41.33% till 3.30 pm, inching towards what could be the city’s best turnout in civic polls since 2002, with two more hours to go.

Polling started at 7.30am and will continue till 5.30pm. A total of 2,275 candidates are vying for the 227 councillor wards in the BMC, according to the state election commission (SEC). The votes will be counted on Thursday.

There are 91.8 lakh registered voters in Mumbai, who will vote across the 7,297 voting booths in the city. The turnout has, however, consistently been tepid. In 2012, 44.85% of Mumbai’s registered voters took note of the BMC elections. In 2007, this figure was 46.14% and in 2002, it was an even more abysmal 43.25%.

With the splitting of traditional alliances of the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Mumbai civic polls are a multi-cornered contest this time. This is also the first time the SEC has put up flex boards giving details of candidates’ assets and their educational qualification.

Matangi Balaji, a resident of Mulund East, after checking the flex board displayed outside the polling booth, said, “I voted for NOTA (None of the above) as none of the candidates were educated enough.”

Similarly, Preeti Mehrotra, a Churchgate resident, said, “The flex board displaying assets and education of the candidates has helped in making an informed decision.”

With the BMC having redrawn ward boundaries this time, confusion prevailed in several places as voters were unable to locate their name in the polling booths they traditionally went to for years.

Ashish Morya, 21, a voter from Mankhurd-Mandala, was one such voter. “Last election, I cast my vote from the same ward, but I am unable to locate my name this time although I it came up in the voter list search online,” he said.

In Mumbai, with the Congress battling with internal crises and the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) influence on the wane, the biggest fight is between allies-turned-rivals BJP and Shiv Sena with the city being the Sena’s home turf, where the BJP wants to aggressively expand, eyeing the same vote-bank as the Shiv Sena’s.

Besides Mumbai, polling is also underway for nine other municipal corporations, 11 zilla parishads and 118 panchayat samitis.

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First Published: Feb 21, 2017 12:14 IST