Voter turnout remains low in Haryana, Maharashtra; PM Modi urges young voters to come out and vote

Female voters

Chandigarh/Mumbai, Oct 15: The voter turnout for the assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra on Wednesday was low despite politicians and celebrities urging the people to cast their votes in large numbers.

Currently, the voting is underway across 288 assembly constituencies in Maharashtra and 90 constituencies in Haryana. The voter turnout in Haryana was just over 50 percent till 3 pm, while in Maharashtra it stood at 45.6 percent.

Mumbai saw an abysmally low voter turnout at a mere 21.6 percent as of 1 pm.

The assembly elections in these states are being seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity after the Lok Sabha polls.

It was a mixed response during the first two hours of voting in Maharashtra , while in Haryana the turnout was very low especially in urban areas.

It may be noted that more than 10 crore people are expected to vote across 288 assembly constituencies in Maharashtra and 90 constituencies in Haryana.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted urging voters in both states to come out and vote. “Youngsters should show the way and ensure a high voter turnout,” he said

The polls are a major test as much of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal charisma as his party’s strategy to abandon long-standing allies in search of political majority in two key states.

Just ahead of the elections, the BJP snapped its 25-year old alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and parted ways with Kuldeep Bishnoi’s Haryana Janhit Congress in Haryana.

A victory will not only reaffirm Modi’s appeal with voters but also silence detractors of his new party leadership, which was blamed for a string of defeats in assembly by-elections that tempered the euphoria of his Lok Sabha triumph.

The vote will also test the mettle of some of the country’s most powerful regional parties such as the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in the western state as well as the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana.

Both the chief ministers, Prithviraj Chavan in Maharashtra and Bhupinder Hooda in Haryana are battling strong anti-incumbency with corruption being a major poll issue.

Pre-poll surveys have put the BJP slightly ahead in the race.

Prominent candidates in Maharashtra include former Congress chief minister Prithviraj Chavan as well as former deputy CM Ajit Pawar and former ministers RR Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP. For the BJP, state chief Devendra Fadnavis, Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde are in the fray.

Prominent candidates in Haryana include former Congress chief minister Prithviraj Chavan as well as former deputy CM Ajit Pawar and former ministers RR Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP. For the BJP, state chief Devendra Fadnavis, Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde are in the fray.

The BJP has not named its chief ministerial candidate in either state.

Votes will be counted and results announced on Sunday.

(With Agency Inputs)

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