NATIONAL

Maharashtra by-elections peaceful

Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: Voting in Saturday's by-elections for the crucial Malvan-Kankavali Assembly constituency and the North-West Mumbai Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra was peaceful, state Chief Election Officer, U.P.S. Madan told reporters here.

In Malvan-Kankavali, 70 per cent of the total electorate of 1.32 lakhs voted and women outnumbered men. In the general elections last year the turnout was 72 per cent.

The authorities had deployed over 3500 men of the central and state reserve police, including two companies from Gujarat, to ensure free and fair elections in the Assembly constituency where Maharashtra Revenue Minister, Narayan Rane is seeking re-election.

The Malvan-Kankavali seat had fallen vacant on Mr. Rane's resignation from the State Assembly in the wake of his expulsion from the Shiv Sena and entry into the Congress. The coastal constituency had remained tense throughout the campaign and had witnessed violent clashes between supporters of Mr. Rane and his former party, the Shiv Sena.

In the North-West Mumbai Lok Sabha constituency, only 35 per cent of 16.36 lakh voters turned up to vote.

The Lok Sabha seat had fallen vacant on the passing away of Union Sports Minister and actor, Sunil Dutt. His daughter, Priya Dutt is the Congress nominee against the Shiv Sena's Madhukar Sarpotdar.

The voting began on a dull note here and till noon only 13 per cent of the voters had voted.