Maha Polls: At 44.74%, Mumbai Puts Up Poor Show Once Again

Mumbai: The country’s financial and entertainment capital once again seems to have fared poorly on the voter turnout front with the Mumbai city and suburban areas on Monday recording an estimated 44.74% polling till 5 pm in the Maharashtra assembly elections.

Ironically, Bandra which is the home to many Bollywood personalities recorded the lowest voter turnout in the Bandra West segment along with Colaba in south Mumbai, which is also counted among the most tony areas in the metropolis.

The final voting percentage would go up by nine per cent above the provisional figure of 44.74%, which is at present six per cent lower than the voter turnout recorded for the 2014 assembly elections.

“Mumbai city and suburbs recorded 44.74 per cent turnout by 5 pm. The final voting percentage would, however, go up by at least nine per cent as long queues were observed outside many polling booths even after the expiry of the official deadline for voting (which is 6 pm),” said an Election Commission official.

Mumbai, which has a total 36 assembly segments, is traditionally known for recording low voting percentage.

Out of the 36 constituencies, 10 are located in the island city while the rest 26 are scattered across suburbs.

The metropolis had recorded a voter turnout of 51.21 per cent in the 2014 assembly elections.

“While most of the seats recorded more than 40 per cent turnout on Monday, Bandra west and Colaba seats recorded 38.81 per cent and 35.26 per cent polling, respectively, which is at the bottom, till 5 pm,” the official said.

Senior BJP leader and minister Ashish Shelar is in the fray from Bandra (west) against Asif Zakaria of the Congress.

From Colaba, Rahul Narwekar of the BJP is squaring off against Ashok Jagtap of the Congress.

It is believed that the party which wins the most seats from Mumbai ends up forming the government in the state.

Bearing this in mind, the BJP and the Shiv Sena have made a concerted attempt in increasing their presence in the mega city and extended suburbs.

In the 2014 elections, out of the total 36 assembly constituencies, the BJP had won 15 and the Sena 14, respectively. Both the parties had contested the polls separately then.

In 2019, the saffron allies are contesting together.

In April-May elections to Lok Sabha, the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai had witnessed an average 55 per cent voter turnout.

There are 334 candidates contesting from the 36 Assembly constituencies.

Prominent among them is Aaditya Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

Aaditya, who is contesting from Worli segment, is the first Thackeray to join electoral politics since the formation of the party in 1960s by Bal Thackeray.

Other candidates trying their luck are Varsha Gaikwad of Congress from Dharavi, Mumbai BJP chief Mangal Prabhat Lodha from Malabar Hill, Abu Asim Azmi (SP) from Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar to name a few.