Mumbai, Oct 21 | Maharashtra has recorded a moderate average of around 17.5 per cent turnout till 12 am, for the assembly elections to the 288 Assembly seats on Monday.
As in the past, the tribal areas in different parts of the state like Thane, Palghar, Chandrapur and Nandurbar recorded more than 20 per cent voter turnout in the festival of democracy, but most other parts of the state, especially the urban and semi-urban areas, the percentage was between 10-20 or less.
The suicide prone Yavatmal recorded 9.25 while the rural Wardha notched 8.37 per cent, the SC reserved Bhusawal recorded. 9.88 per cent, falling among the 13-odd constituencies with a single-digit percentage votes cast – less than 10 per cent.
The state capital Mumbai notched around 17 per cent while the second capital Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ hometown Nagpur was hovering at 16.5 per cent.
Apparently, alarmed by the low turnout, celebrities, political leaders appealed to people to step out and take part in the voting, with similar messages flooding social media, and volunteers going door-to-door to bring out the voters in some areas.
Among those who appealed to the masses included RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, BJP ministers Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and his daughter, Supriya Sule, Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant and others.
EC officials are optimistic that the slow start may have been due to rain in many parts of the state including Mumbai and the voting would pick up subsequently.
As the weather cleared in many parts, people started trickling out individually or with families and queued up at polling stations to vote.
Prominent celebrities, including cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, leading Bollywood personalities like Aamir Khan and top politicians like Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar, Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan, Narayan Rane, Balasaheb Thorat, Chandrakant Patil, Raj Thackeray, Nawab Malik, Mangalprabhat Lodha, state and central ministers and many more, exercised their franchise with families across the state.