Billionaires and Bollywood stars lined up outside polling stations along with the common folks on Monday in Mumbai, which recorded 51.11 per cent voting, almost similar to the voting percentage of 51.59 in the 2014 polls. Polling was held in six constituencies in Mumbai and 11 other seats in Maharashtra in the fourth and final phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state.
The overall percentage in the 17 seats when polling ended at 5 pm was 52.07 per cent, compared to 55.83 per cent in these seats during the 2014 elections, poll officials said.
India’s financial capital also witnessed serpentine queues at some places, in an indication of the enthusiasm among voters to elect lawmakers.
Nandurbar seat in north Maharashtra recorded the highest 64.44 per cent voting while Kalyan near Mumbai saw the lowest 41.64 per cent polling.
Voting figures for other seats are as follows: Dhule – 50.97 per cent, Dindori – 58.20 per cent, Nashik – 53.09 per cent, Palghar – 57.60 per cent, Bhiwandi – 48.90 per cent, Thane – 46.42 per cent, Mumbai North – 54.72 per cent, Mumbai North West – 50.44 per cent, Mumbai North East – 52.30 per cent, Mumbai North Central – 49.49 per cent, Mumbai South Central – 51.53 per cent, Mumbai South – 48.23 per cent, Maval – 52.74 per cent, Shirur – 52.45 per cent and Shirdi – 56.19 per cent.
The 17 seats were spread across Mumbai metropolitan region and parts of northern and western Maharashtra, having 3.11 crore voters and 323 candidates.
The state Congress made 30 complaints to the Election Commission about alleged glitches in EVMs across the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies. A majority of the complaints came in from Dhule and Nandurbar, the party said, prompting ally NCP’s state chief Jayant Patil to claim that something was “fishy” in the two seats.
NCP president Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and Union minister Smriti Irani were prominent among political leaders who voted in Mumbai. MNS president Raj Thackeray and his wife Sharmila waited for over an hour at a polling centre in Shivaji Park area to cast their votes.
Uddhav Thackeray, his wife Rashmi and son Aaditya cast their votes at a municipal school in Bandra East.
Many captains of industry traded their impeccable suits for informal attire as they lined up outside polling booths, many of them located inside civic body-run schools.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das was seen standing in a queue outside one such polling station, voting for the first time in Mumbai after shifting from New Delhi following his appointment as the central bank chief in December.
Prominent industrialists who voted were Mukesh and Anil Ambani, Anand Mahindra and Adi Godrej.
Several Bollywood stars, including Rekha, Madhuri Dixit, Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor Khan, cast their vote in Mumbai. Aamir, Priyanka and Rekha were among the early voters.
Veteran singer Asha Bhosle, actors Hrithik Roshan, Vidya Balan, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Varun Dhawan, Sanjay Dutt and wife Manyata, writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, filmmaker Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra and Prem Chopra also voted.
Union minister Subhash Bhamre (Dhule) and Congress nominees Milind Deora (Mumbai-South) and Urmila Matondkar (Mumbai-North) were among the key candidates in the fray.
Deora was pitted against sitting Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant while Matondkar took on BJP MM Gopal Shetty.
The other prominent candidates included Congress’ Priya Dutt from Mumbai-North Central and Sharad Pawar’s grandnephew Parth Pawar from Maval seat.
India’s richest man, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and richest banker Uday Kotak recently endorsed Deora as their choice from Mumbai South.
A large number of first-time voters came out to cast their ballots in Mumbai, marking their formal participation in choosing the next government in the world’s largest democracy.
Maharashtra has over 1.19 crore voters who fall in the age group of 18-19 years and were eligible to exercise their franchise in the Lok Sabha polls for the first time.
Balloons and colourful rangolis welcomed voters at some of the polling booths across the 17 constituencies.
As part of an initiative by the Election Commission of India to make polling a pleasant experience, certain booths were selected in every Lok Sabha constituency for decoration.
Police personnel posted at polling booths across Mumbai earned kudos for lending a helping hand to senior citizens and differently-abled people to cast their votes in the six Lok Sabha constituencies in the city and suburbs that went to polls.