Defying intense heat, the Malegaonians came out in a large number
Sunday to cast votes for the Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC)
elections, the results of which will also decide who becomes the
first lady Mayor of this Muslim dominated town in North
Election officials said that except
for the few minor incidents of clashes between rival political
groups, the election that saw a voter turnout of 60 to 65 percent
was by and large peaceful.
"Voting began exactly at 07:30 in
the morning. But the first two hours saw only 14.95% polling. The
polling, however, soon picked up and went up to 31.46% till 11:30
AM, 44.78% at 01:30 PM and 54.21% at 03:30 in the afternoon",
office of the chief election office informed the reporters.
At some places in the Muslim
dominated areas a comparatively higher voting percentage of 70 to
75% was recorded.
At some polling stations where
clashes between rival political groups were reported, police used
lathi charge to disperse the mob.
Reports of technical problems in
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), especially in Ward no. 27 were
also reported. The problems, however, were resolved soon.
Earlier, people queued up outside 540 booths across the town to vote for
elections - first after the inclusion of newer areas in the city
limit and increase in the corporation body from 72 to 80.
A total of 3,67,374 registered voters are expected to exercise
their franchise to decide the fate of 471 candidates including 227
women candidates for the 80 seats.
Additional forces including 7 companies of State Reserve Police (SRP)
were deployed in the town to ensure free and fair elections.
Video cameras were also installed at sensitive polling
booths. Nashik Superintendent of Police (SP) Pravin Padwal was in the town to look into the law and order situation.
For the first time, 50 percent seats (40) have been reserved for
Among the prominent candidates whose
fate are now sealed in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are current Mayor Abdul Malik, NCP stalwarts Yunus Esa and
Ibrahim National, senior corporators Rasheed Yeolewala, Sakharam
Ghodke, Narendra Sonawane, Ejaz Baig, Prof Rizwan and Bulund Iqbal.
The fate of Shan-e-Hind of Janata
Dal (S), Tahira Shaikh Rasheed of Congress party and Jyoti Bhosale,
an independent – the three front runners for the post of first
lady Mayor of Malegaon, are also now sealed in EVMs.
Counting of the votes will be done tomorrow. It will start at 09
a.m. and at four different places in the town. Till the earlier
elections, counting was done only at one place.