Maharashtra: B'wood, India Inc Take Lead In Voting
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Nearly 15 per cent turnout was recorded in the first few hours in 19 seats across Maharashtra in the third and final phase of elections in the state today with the tribal-dominated Nandurbar recording the highest 20.60 per cent polling.
Mumbai recorded an average of 15.18 per cent polling across all six parliamentary constituencies in first four hours.
In Mumbai, known for subdued turnout in polls, Bollywood celebrities and India Inc honchos gave a head start to voting in the morning hours.
Celebrities like Rekha, Vidya Balan, Sunny Deol, Sonam Kapoor, Dharmendra, Aamir Khan and Prasoon Joshi cast their votes in the morning hours, so did Adi Godrej, Anil Ambani, SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya among others.
"It's my responsibility to vote. To point fingers at others and (if) I face a problem, I need to have this on my finger," Balan said displaying her inked finger outside a booth in suburban Chembur.
Actor Aamir Khan, who cast his vote in suburban Bandra, said, "Voting is an important process in democracy. It is my duty as an Indian to vote".
Actress Sonam Kapoor, who was among early-morning voters, said, "It is good to vote for those who make legitimate promises".
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar cast his vote along with wife Anjali around noon at a polling booth near their residence in suburban Bandra.
The sports legend posted a selfie showing his inked finger on Twitter and said, "I have voted..Have U ? A wonderful start to my birthday as a responsible citizen of our great nation."
Among corporates, Anil Ambani walked into a polling booth in the tony Cuffe Parade locality, not far from his residence at the 'Sea Wind' tower at 0715 hours.
Godrej chairman Adi Godrej too exercised his right to franchise in the morning hours.
However, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh reportedly could not cast his vote as his name did not figure in the voters list.
Other corporates who voted today were N Chandrasekaran of Tata Consultancy Services, HDFC vice chairman and chief executive Keki Mistry and Ajit Gulabchand, the chairman of infrastructure major HCC.
Among politicians, NCP chief Sharad Pawar cast his vote for the first time in Mumbai.
Congress nominees and sitting MPs Priya Dutt, Milind Deora, BJP candidate Poonam Mahajan, Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Vinod Tawde also exercised their right to franchise in Mumbai.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray cast his vote in suburban Bandra.
"I am voting for the first time without Balasaheb and am feeling his absence. However, the party is following the path laid down by him. His absence will always be felt," he said.
Uddhav's estranged cousin and MNS president Raj Thackeray also cast his vote at Shivaji Park which falls in the Mumbai South Central seat.
Earlier, voting began on a brisk note in Mumbai and rest of the state with most of the voters seemed keen to avoid sweltering heat as mercury has risen to 39 degree Celsius in the last two days.
In neighbouring Thane, polling began on a good note in morning hours with a large number of women voters too turning out to exercise their right to franchise.
Enthusiasm among voters was also seen in Marathwada and North Maharashtra regions.
The polling percentage so far is: Nandurbar-ST (20.60%), Dhule (16%), Jalgaon (14.83%), Raver (13.82%), Jalna (16.27 %), Aurangabad (13.69 %), Dindori (ST) 19%, Nashik (18.40 %), Palghar (9.32%), Bhivandi (10.25%), Kalyan (9.50%), Thane (9.13 %), Mumbai North (18 %), Mumbai North West (16.70%), Mumbai North East (15.20 %), Mumbai North Central (15.50 %), Mumbai South Central (12.50%), Mumbai South (13.20%), Raigad (19 %).