Tensions rule high in Maharashtra; man stabbed to death

Disturbances in Dharashiv, Madha, Baramati mar poll process 

May 08, 2024 02:02 am | Updated 03:47 am IST - Pune

NCP-SCP chief Sharad Pawar votes at a polling booth in Maharashtra’s Baramati on May 7, 2024. Party candidate from Baramati and Mr. Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule looks on.

NCP-SCP chief Sharad Pawar votes at a polling booth in Maharashtra’s Baramati on May 7, 2024. Party candidate from Baramati and Mr. Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule looks on. | Photo Credit: ANI

Despite a high-octane campaign for 11 keenly contested seats, Maharashtra witnessed a voter turnout of 61.44% in the third phase of the Lok Sabha election on May 7, show provisional data from the Election Commission.

With the prestige of some of the most powerful political families in the State at stake, the tensions between the ruling Mahayuti and the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) were reflected on polling day when a man was allegedly stabbed to death while another was injured in a brawl at a polling station in Dharashiv (formerly Osmanabad).

In another incident, a man poured petrol and set afire at least three electronic voting machines (EVMs) at a polling station at Bagalwadi village in the Madha Lok Sabha constituency.

The man, who was seen raising pro-Maratha quota slogans, was arrested by the police.

In the Baramati constituency, the Opposition Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) lodged more than 200 complaints against the NCP led by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. Veteran leader Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule is pitted against Mr. Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra Pawar in Baramati.

NCP (SP) MLA Rohit Pawar, who is Sharad Pawar’s grandnephew, alleged that a litany of malpractices had been committed by the Ajit Pawar faction, including alleged instances of distribution of cash and threatening of workers of the NCP (SP) faction.

Responding to Mr. Rohit Pawar’s allegations, Mr. Ajit Pawar said: “It is the EC’s task to ascertain the veracity of such incidents.”

High stakes battle

Earlier, Mr. Ajit Pawar, his mother Ashatai Pawar, and Ms. Sunetra Pawar cast their votes in the Pawar’s ancestral Katewadi village.

“This is an election where the future of the country is at stake. The development of Baramati hinges on this election,” Mr. Ajit Pawar said.

Mr. Sharad Pawar cast his vote in Malegaon village in Baramati along with his daughter Ms. Sule, his wife Pratibha Pawar, and granddaughter Revati Sule.

Several other leaders cast their votes in high-profile seats of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Satara, Kolhapur, Hatkanangale, Solapur, Madha, Dharashiv and Latur. BJP leader and Union Minister Narayan Rane, the ruling Mahayuti’s candidate for the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat, cast his vote in Kankavli in Sindhudurg.

He is pitted against incumbent MP, Vinayak Raut, of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT), who had won the seat in 2014 and 2019.

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