Newdelhi:21/10/19:Polling is in progress for assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. Voting, which began at 7 AM, will end at 6 in the evening. In Haryana, 37.12 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 2 PM whereas in Maharashtra, 30.67 per cent voting was reported. In Maharashtra, the ‘Mahayuti’ alliance of BJP, Shiv Sena and smaller parties is pitted against the ‘Maha-agadhi’ led by the Congress and the NCP. As many as 3,237 candidates, including 235 women, are contesting in 288 seats.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis cast his vote at a polling booth in West Nagpur and urged people to participate in, what he called, the festival of democracy. Fadnavis along with his wife Amruta Fadnavis and mother went to a polling booth set up at a school in Dharampeth area where all of them voted.
Fadnavis is seeking a fifth term as MLA from Nagpur South West Assembly constituency. Congress has fielded Dr. Ashish Deshmukh as his main opponent.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit , RSS Chief Dr. Mohan Bhagwat also voted in their respective constituencies in Nagpur.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar exercised his right to franchise at Tardeo in Mumbai. BJP leader and State Minister Ashish Shelar, party leader Parag Alavni, Shiv Sena’s Ravindra Vaikar and celebrities such as actor Aamir Khan, his wife Kiran Rao, actor-director Kunal Kohli, veteran actress Shubha Khote were among the early morning voters in the city. Despite light showers, senior citizens and fitness enthusiasts as well as first time voters were seen outside polling stations early in the morning in Mumbai.
In Haryana, the ruling BJP is locked in a contest with the opposition Congress and the JJP for the 90 assembly seats. A total of 1,169 candidates, including 104 women, are in the fray. AIR correspondent reports that the main contest is being considered between congress and BJP in Haryana. Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupender Singh Hooda is facing BJP candidate Satish Mandal in Rohtak,. The known hockey player Sandeep Singh has fight with Mandeep Chatha son of former Haryana Speaker Har mohinder Singh Chatha. At Panchkula, fight is being considered tough between sitting MLA Gian Chand Gupta and former Deputy Chief Minister and congress candidate Chander mohan. The Dadri constituency is also considered important from where Dangal girl Babita Phogat , who is facing challange of former minister Sat Pal Sangwan backed by JJP. At Tohana, , from where BJP state President Subash Barsla is in fray, the contest is considered triangular between BJP, congress and JJP. On the whole, in the state on around 50 seats the fight is tough between ruling and opposition candidates, while BJP is being considered comfortable on around 20 seats.
Tight security arrangements have been made with deployment of more than three lakh personnel from state police and central forces in Maharashtra. Over 75,000 security personnel have been mobilised in Haryana.
Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal cast his vote at Government Higher Secondary School, Prem Nagar of Karnal Assembly constituency. He reached polling booth No, 134 by bicycle, saying he wanted give a message to people to protect the environment. Interacting with media after voting, he expressed confidence that BJP would form goverment again in the state.