Celebrities, industrialists go out to vote in Mumbai

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 29, 2019 Published on April 29, 2019

Mark of choice Sachin Tendulkar with his family strikes a pose after voting in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, at a polling station in Mumbai on Monday   -  SHASHIASHIWAL

The fourth and the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra was completed on Monday with 52.07 per cent of the voters exercising their franchise for 17 parliamentary seats, which include six from Mumbai city. Mumbaikars voted in large numbers this time with over 50 per cent votes polled till 5 pm, still shy of the city’s 2014 record of 51.9 per cent.

Most of the six Mumbai constituencies saw over 50 per cent polling. Mumbai North recorded the highest voter turnout with 54.72 per cent, followed by Mumbai North-East (52.30%) and Mumbai South Central (51.53%). The voting percentages recorded at Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North Central and Mumbai South are 50.44, 49.49 and 48.23 respectively.

In 2014, Mumbai registered a turnout of 51.6 per cent, which was a major improvement from a low of 41.4 percent in the 2009 general elections. Before 2014, Mumbai polling crossed 50 per cent mark only once in 1998 at 50.4 percent.

Massive campaign by the election commission with encouragement from Bollywood celebreties pushed people to vote. Several actors and industrialists went out to cast their vote in the city and shared their pictures with the ink mark on social media to encourage others to vote.

Bollywood stars, including Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone were among the many celebreties who were spotted at polling booths.

Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra also cast his vote early during the day and said, “We all have been infected by the virus of progress and growth. Even if a coalition government comes, it should work towards progress and growth of the country.”

Erstwhile Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal was seen casting his vote who came out refusing on comment on anything related to the now grounded Jet Airways.

Seats at stake

There is a lot of interest in the six seats from the commercial capital. At stake is the political future of Congress politicians such as Milind Deora and Sanjay Nirupam. Sitting MP of BJP, Poonam Mahajan, who had defeated two times MP from Congress party, Priya Dutt in 2014 with a massive margin of 1.86 lakh votes is again seeking the mandate from the people for Mumbai North Central seat. Her opponent is again Dutt, who is fighting on the anti-Modi plank.

Another interesting fight is for Mumbai North constituency between first time MP Gopal Shetty and former Bollywood star Urmila Matondkar, who has never held any public office. Shetty’s landslide victory in 2014 was preceded by two terms of Congress candidates. The constituency till 2004 was held by BJP veteran Ram Naik for five terms.

The voting in Maharashtra was sluggish till 9 am with only 6.82 per cent voters exercising their vote but as the day passed the voting picked up the pace. By 3 pm it had already reached 42.03 per cent.

By 5 pm the overall percentage in the State had reached 52.07 per cent. In the tribal-dominated Nandurbar constituency in North Maharashtra, the polling percentage had reached 62.44 per cent. On the other end, the affluent constituency of Mumbai south had polled only 48.23 per cent votes.


For the latest on elections: Elections 2019

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Published on April 29, 2019
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