LokSabha 2019: Highest polling in Kolhapur district

Manasi Saraf Joshi
Wednesday, 24 April 2019

No untoward incidents were reported anywhere in the Western Maharashtra. Peaceful voting and few incidents of missing names of the voters from electoral roll, malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were few of the incidents which however, did not affect the overall percentage of voting.

PUNE: In Western Maharashtra, Kolhapur district recorded the maximum voting percentage of 68-70 per cent followed by Ahmednagar, Hatkangale and Sangli with 64-65 per cent, Madha 63 per cent, Baramati with 61 per cent and Satara at 58 per cent. No untoward incidents were reported anywhere in the Western Maharashtra. Peaceful voting and few incidents of missing names of the voters from electoral roll, malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were few of the incidents which however, did not affect the overall percentage of voting.

 

The Kolhapur constituency mainly saw a battle between Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena’s Professor Sanjay Mandlik. Months of preparedness by the parties, a few activities that took place behind the curtains, district administration’s preparedness regarding water, creche and first-aid were some of the highlights.

While in Hatkangale, the candidates had to fight for every single vote. There was a battle between Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana Raju Shetti and Shiv Sena’s Dharyasheel Mane. Shetti, who had won the two previous elections single handedly however, faced a tough fight this time from Mane. This constituency is predominantly led by milk and sugarcane growers. Young voters were seen rallying behind Mane. Similarly, here, it was women who came out in more number than men for voting. The constituency recorded 68-70 per cent of voting.

Satara recorded 58 per cent voting with a direct battle between Congress-NCP and alliance’s MP Udyanraje Bhosale and BJP-Shiv Sena candidate Narendra Patil.

Besides that Vanchit Bahujan Party, Baliraja Shetkari Sanghatana and nine candidates from others made the elections interesting. Malfunctioning of EVMs stranded the voters for over two hours. However, no untoward incidents were reported from any part of the district. The voting process was on till late in the evening. Satara constituency recorded 52 per cent of voting in 2009, 57 per cent in 2014, while this time, it increased by one per cent.

In Sangli, it was a triangular contest between BJP’s sitting MP Sanjay Patil, Congress-NCP-Swabhimani’s Vishal Patil (grandson of Vasantdada Patil) and Vanchit Vikas Agahadi’s Gopichand Padalkar. Young, first time voters, women and senior citizens were seen prominently voting in the district. Malfunctioning of the EMVs at few of the polling booths, missing names and a trivial fights upset the voters. Although, a total number of 12 candidates were contesting the elections, the real battle was triangular. In 2014, the constituency had recorded 63.28 per cent voting while this time, it was 65 per cent.

Ahmednagar constituency recorded 65 per cent voting. The elections created headlines after son of Congress stalwart Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Dr Sujay Vikhe Patil entered the BJP. The elections highlighted differences between Vikhe Patil and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. Both Congress and NCP made this seat a prestige issue. Vikhe wanted the seat for Congress, while Pawar was adamant about retaining it for NCP. This led to differences with Dr Sujay entering BJP and contesting the elections. He had a direct contest with NCP’s Sangram Jagtap.

Besides malfunctioning of EVMs and stranding of voters, the voting took place smoothly in this constituency.

MASSIVE TURNOUT
Despite the scorching sun, Kolhapur residents made it a point to come out and vote. The long queues started as early as 7 am continued till noon, though from noon till 3 pm, there was a lull, but again people came back to vote.

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