45 percent voting in Mumbai civic polls (Lead)

February 17th, 2012 - 12:33 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Feb 16 (IANS) In a show of voter apathy, Mumbai Thursday marked a turnout of 45 percent in elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). In all the 10 Maharashtra municipal corporations, where voting took place during the day, the average voter turnout was around 54 percent, official sources said here.

A total of 3.5 crore voters were registered to elect 1,244 councillors, including 624 women, in Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Nashik, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur municipal corporations.

According to officials of the state election commission, Solapur, Nashik and Amravati municipal corporations recorded the highest voter turnout at 58 percent.

Akola was a close second at 57 percent.

Mumbai voters showed little interest. About 45 percent voters voted for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the richest civic body in India.

A top Mumbai civic official, however, said that the voter percentage had gone up by three percent as compared to 2007.

“This year, Mumbai has seen voting from nearly 43.6 lakh persons as against 38 lakh voters in the 2007 municipal elections. The voter turnout this time is about 45 percent,” BMC Commissioner Subodh Kumar told reporters here.

Kumar said that this year there were more voter registrations. “During the 2007 municipal elections, Mumbai had 83.88 lakh registered voters. This year, the number has gone up by around 19 lakh taking the total to 1.03 crore,” he said.

He said that the rise in number of registered voters may be owing to more awareness. “The population per se has not gone up, but more people are coming forward to register themselves as voters,” he said.

Kumar said that the chances of bogus voting were minimal. “There might be dummy names or duplicate names in the voting lists, but it is unlikely that they cast their votes twice,” he said.

Thane city, adjacent to Mumbai, registered a voter turnout of 52 percent while Ulhasnagar municipal corporation in Thane district registered a voter turnout of a mere 43 percent.

Pune registered a turnout of 53 percent while the adjoining Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporation registered a turnout of 56 percent. Nagpur registered a turnout of 55 percent.

The counting of votes will start Friday at 7.30 a.m. in municipal corporation of Thane, while in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad it will start at 8 a.m. The counting in other corporations will start at 9 a.m.

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