Civic elections in three municipal corporations in the state concluded on Wednesday with Panvel, Bhiwandi and Malegaon witnessing a voter turnout of 55, 53 and 60 percent respectively.
Panvel, a neighbouring town of Mumbai in Raigad district, went to the civic polls for the first time after its civic body was upgraded to Municipal Corporation in October last year.
According to a Hindustan Times report, In the 78-seat Panvel Municipal Corporation, the contest is between Shiv Sena, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Peasants and Workers’ Party (PWP) — which has allied with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
BJP fielded its 60 candidates in Panvel Municipal Corporation which comprises of the town and 29 nearby villages where it had to face it's ally in the state government Shiv Sena which was in alliance with Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS).
Bhiwandi-Nizampur City Municipal Corporation is currently being ruled by Congress-Shiv Sena alliance while an alliance of NCP and Teesra Mahaj rules Malegaon Municipal Corporation.
Approximately 12.96 lakh people were eligible voters in these elections, as informed by the state election commission officials.
According to the officials, a total of 1251 candidates contested the civic elections on 252 seats across the three civic bodies which included 189 candidates from BJP, 152 from Congress, 144 from Shiv Sena, 90 from NCP, 32 from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and 46 from All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Janata Dal (United) and Janata Dal (Secular) fielded 22, 4 and 10 candidates respectively and 355 independents candidates were also in the fray.
A report in The Times of India stated that a total of 195 candidates declared criminal cases registered against them and while 141 were facing serious criminal cases, according to an Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report.
The ADR report said that 27 of the BJP's candidates had serious criminal cases against them while the Congress has 25, Shiv Sena 14, NCP 13 and MNS had 6 such candidates.
The Chief Election Commissioner of India Naseem Zaidi had announced on 12 May that all future elections will be held with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) equipped with VVPAT (Voter-verifiable paper audit trail) machines amid concerns over tampering of EVMs. However, JS Saharia, the state election commissioner had said that use of VVPAT machines will not be possible in these civic elections.
The results of these elections will be declared on Friday.
Updated Date: May 25, 2017 12:47 PM