Mumbai, Apr 10: 62.3 per cent voting was recorded in the ten Lok Sabha constituencies in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra where polling was held today, State Election Commission sources said.
No incident of violence was reported in this first phase of elections in the state. The polling was mostly peaceful even in the Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district, they said.
Final polling percentages in the ten constituencies were as follows: Buldhana: 58.66, Akola: 65.00, Amravati: 65.00, Wardha: 61.00, Ramtek: 62.00, Nagpur: 59.00, Bhandhara- Gondiya: 65.00, Gadchiroli-chimur: 65.00, Chandrapur: 63.00 and Yavatmal-Washim: 60.00
Further, in the by-election to Risod Assembly constituency, 62.10 per cent voting was registered.
Today’s polling would decide the fates of former BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari in Nagpur, Union Minister Praful Patel (NCP) in Bhandara, former minister of State Vilas Muttemwar (Congress) in Nagpur and Shivajirao Moghe (Congress) in Yavatmal, among others.
Elaborate security arrangements had been made across all constituencies in over 20,000 polling booths, particularly in Gadchiroli where all the top police officials were camping.
British High Commissioner Sir James David Bevan visited Nagpur to witness the polling process. “I am here to observe the wonderful experience of polling in the world’s largest democracy and enjoying it,” said Bevan, who met both Gadkari and Muttemar while in the city.
Vidarbha — the cotton belt of Maharashtra which became infamous over the past one decade for farmer suicides and the rising Maoist menace — is considered to be a Congress bastion.