Second phase polling underway for 19 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra; large turnout of voters in Pune.
About 62 per cent of the electorate cast their vote in the 19 Lok Sabha seats that went to the polls on Thursday -- nearly seven percentage points more than the 54 per cent polling in 2009. Pune and Maval constituencies registered a massive increase of18 per cent in turnout.
The Kolhapur constituency registered the highest voter turnout with 68%, while the lowest turnout was recorded in Solapur and Satara, of about 57%. Except for the BJP leader Gopinath Munde’s Beed constituency, the voting percentage has increased everywhere.
The fate of heavyweights from all political parties such as Adarsh society scam tainted Ashok Chavan, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Industries Minister Narayan Rane's son Dr. Nilesh Rane from the Congress; BJP leader Gopinath Munde; NCP chief Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule and party's senior leader Padmasinh Patil who is an accused in the murder case; was sealed on Thursday.
Out of the 19 constituencies, the contest of Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat has grabbed the state's attention after the local NCP leaders' refusal to cooperate the Congress candidate. The contest in Pune has also come under limelight after the allegations by the Raj Thackeray led MNS against the Congress candidate Vishwajeet Kadam of distributing money.
The Congress also faces a tough challenge in its traditional stronghold of Sangli in Western Maharashtra.
"The people have voted in peace and without fear. I am sure about the victory of the Congress candidate," said the state Industries Minister Mr. Rane after casting his vote.
Mr. Munde too expressed the confidence on the saffron alliance and claiming to win majority of 19 seats.