55 pc turnout in BMC polls; 'Thank you Mumbai,' says Devendra FadnavisElections to the cash-rich BMC and nine other civic bodies in Maharashtra, which have virtually turned into a battle of prestige for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, heading the state's first BJP-led government, and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray,
Over 55 per cent of voters today torned out to vote in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), India's largest and richest civic body, while million others voted in other 10 major civic bodies in Maharashtra.
The voter turnout was the highest in past five elections.
The country's commercial capital and the richest civic body has generally recorded a dismal voter turnout. Last year, 45 per cent voters had turned out to exercise their frenchise. Early voters included political leaders as well as Bollywood actors.
The encouraging turnout prompted Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to tweet: "Thank you Mumbai for the record voting percentage and ... for participating in festival of democracy!"
The elections are being seen as battle of prestige between Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
A generous dose of glamour, glitz and power play was visible in Mumbai at the 7,304 booths to elect 227 BMC corporators from among 2,275 candidates.
Controlled by the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for four terms, the BMC has a budget of Rs 37,052 crore for the current year (2016-17) catering to a population of around 18.30 million.
The election, which will also pick 11 Zilla Parishads and 118 Panchayat Samitis, is widely seen as a referendum on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Voting was also conducted in other nine civic bodies (besides Mumbai) -- Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Amravati, Akola and Nagpur.
This is the first time the fate of a state government could rest on the outcome of a municipal election, given the bitterness between the BJP and Shiv Sena in the run up to the polls.
An aggressive Uddhav Thackeray has put the BJP government "on notice period" and said he would decide whether to continue the state-level alliance after the results on Thursday.
Since Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar has ruled out support in such an eventuality and predicted mid-term assembly polls, the Fadnavis government will be reduced to a minority.
An electorate of 3.77 crore has put the seal on the fate of 17,331 candidates for 5,512 seats, including 1,268 in 10 municipal corporations, 2,956 in 11 Zilla Parishads and 1,288 seats in 118 Panchayat Samitis in the second and final phase of the polling.
The results shall be declared on Thursday.
* 55 per cent voting recorded, highest in past 5 elections.
* Thank you Mumbai for the record voting percentage & people from all Municipal Corporations & ZP for participating in festival of democracy: Devendra Fadnavis
* Shahrukh Khan showing his ink marked finger after casting the vote for the Municipal Corporation election in Mumbai
* UP Governor Ram Naik (R) and his wife Kunda showing ink marked fingers after casting votes for Mumbai Corporation Election at Goregaon in North Mumbai
* Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis along with mother (C) and wife Amruta (R) showing ink marked fingures after cast their votes during the Municipal election in Nagpur
* 41.32 per cent voter turnout in BMC elections 2017 till 3.30 pm.
* Sachin Tendulkar along with wife Anjali displays the indelible ink mark on their fingers after casting the vote
* 32.1 per cent voter turnout recorded till 1:30 pm in BMC polls
* My name has not shown up in the list unfortunately,its bizarre because I voted last year.Will find out from EC where is my name: Dhawan
Varun Dhawan arrived to cast his vote at a polling booth in Mumbai, says "upsetting that I couldn't find my name on the voter list" pic.twitter.com/9mw7kWLKXl— ANI (@ANI) February 21, 2017
* Voter turnout till noon: Solapur (11 pc), Sangli (10 pc), Amravati (9 pc), Akola (7 pc), Ratnagiri (12 pc), Sindhudurg (13 pc), Gadchiroli (11 pc), Raigad (14 pc), Nasik (8 pc)
* Voting picks pace in Maharashtra civic polls, 14 pc turnout recorded till noon
* Till 11.30 am, the voting percentage is 19.11 pc in Thane
* 101-year-old Mohamad Husen Master cast vote at Cuffe Parade
* BJP's Shaina NC was able to cast her vote later after the authorities helped her with the formalities.
* 8.07 pc turnout recorded till 9:30 am in BMC polls
* Senior Congress leader & former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde casted his vote for civic body polls in Solapur.
Maharashtra: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari casts his vote for Nagpur Municipal Corporation polls, at a booth located in Nagpur's Town Hall. pic.twitter.com/YhtvdEC3c1— ANI (@ANI) February 21, 2017
* Shaina NC arrived to cast her vote at Napansea Rd polling booth on a cycle; could not find her name in the voter's list
* Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai Ajoy Mehta casts his vote at polling booth number 214 (18), located at Mumbai's Pedder Road
Nagpur: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat casts his vote at a polling booth in Bharat Mahila Vidyalaya for Nagpur Municipal Corporation elections pic.twitter.com/7mOTW9xMns— ANI (@ANI) February 21, 2017
* Voting in elections to BMC and nine other civic bodies, in multiple cities of Maharashtra starts.