Low turnout of voters in Kharghar, Panvel areas
For most Kharghar residents, Thursday was just another holiday. Many took the opportunity to spend time with the family and finish their pending chores. This reflected in the poor turnout at the voting booths in Kharghar, Panvel and adjoining nodes that fall under the Maval Lok Sabha constituency.
According to reports, the turnout was as low as around 35 per cent in most areas. Kharghar and Panvel recorded a slightly higher turnout nearing 45 per cent. According to political observers, the poor turnout could be attributed to the discrepancies in the voters' list as many residents found their names missing or details not matching with names.
Ashok Pevekar, NCP's ward 11, Kharghar unit chief said, "I had listed names of all my family members, but while my children's names have appeared, my name is missing. Another person I know was not allowed to cast his vote because his surname Jadhav did not match with Jadav on the list. All these factors are bound to affect the final count." With schools and colleges closed for vacations, many residents decided to stay clear of the voting duty and proceeded on their annual trip. The only good news is that voting for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections passed off peacefully in Kharghar and adjoining nodes since no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.
An officer on election duty at Kamothe said, "There were no long queues as expected. Very few people turned out to exercise their franchise." The number of people who braved the heat to cast their votes was higher in urban areas of Kharghar and Panvel but the scenario in rural parts of Kamothe and Kopra was just the opposite. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) were also used in the polls.
A total of 18 candidates are contesting the Lok Sabha elections from this constituency which comprises of six Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly) segments. These segments are Panvel, Karjat, Uran, Maval, Chinchwad and Pimpri. This constituency is one of the two newly-formed Lok Sabha constituencies in Pune district after delimitation.
The constituency has nearly 16 lakh voters. Most areas in this constituency earlier were under the Khed Lok Sabha constituency.
While Congress-NCP-RPI alliance has fielded Azam Pansare, BJP-Shiv Sena-PWP alliance fielded Gajanan Babar. In all, 70 police personnel were deployed for election duty along with seven senior officers in Kharghar. Four vehicles were making rounds of the nodes regularly, a police official said on condition of anonymity.
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