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52.49 pc voter turnout recorded in 11 LS seats in Maharashtra till 5 pm

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Mumbai, May 13 (PTI) A voter turnout of 52.49 per cent was recorded till 5 pm on Monday in 11 of the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra, where polling is underway in the fourth phase of the general election, the state electoral office said.

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Polling began at 7 am and is scheduled to end at 6 pm in Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Raver, Jalna, Aurangabad, Maval, Pune, Shirur, Ahmednagar, Shirdi, and Beed constituencies.

According to the data shared by the authorities, tribal-dominated Nandurbar recorded 60.60 per cent polling, while Jalna saw 58.85 per cent turnout until 5 pm.

Beed saw 58.21 per cent polling, followed by Raver at 55.36 per cent, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar at 54.02 per cent, Ahmednagar 53.27 per cent, Shirdi at 52.27 per cent, Jalgaon 51.98 per cent, Maval at 46.03 per cent, Pune at 44.90 per cent and Shirur at 43.89 per cent.

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Interestingly, three candidates are residents of places outside the constituency from where they are contesting.

BJP candidate from Ahmednagar Sujay Vikhe Patil lives in Loni, part of Shirdi Lok Sabha seat, while Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi's Pune candidate Vasant More lives in Katraj, which is part of Shirur constituency.

Sandipan Bhumare, who has been fielded by the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena in Aurangabad, is a voter in Paithan, which is in Jalna Lok Sabha constituency.

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Marathi actors Subodh Bhave, Sonali Kulkarni, and singer Arya Ambekar exercised their franchise.

The Congress' Pune city president Arvind Shinde raised an allegation of bogus voting.

"I went to Saint Meera school for voting, but my name was already ticked off on the list, and I was told voting was already done in my name. Someone had signed next to my name," he said.

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He said he filled up necessary forms and was allowed to vote on ballot paper, adding he had raised a complaint online.

Union minister Raosaheb Danve, BJP leader Pankaja Munde and actor-turned-politician Amol Kolhe are among the prominent candidates.

A total of 298 candidates are in the fray, with Beed having the highest number of 41 candidates and Nandurbar the lowest number at 11.

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Altogether, 2.28 crore voters are eligible to participate in the fourth phase of the election in the state. They comprise 1.18 crore men, 1.09 crore women, and 1,272 third-gender voters.

In the 11 constituencies, there are 23,284 polling centres, 83 of which are deemed critical.

Voting is underway using 53,959 ballot units, 23,284 control units, and 23,284 VVPAT machines, the official said.

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The BJP has renominated Union minister Danve from Jalna constituency and Sujay Vikhe Patil in Ahmednagar and fielded former state minister Pankaja Munde from Beed.

Actor Amol Kolhe is the NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) candidate from the Shirur Lok Sabha seat in the Pune district.

NCP (SP) candidate Bajrang Sonavane, Union Minister Raosaheb Danve, AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel and Leader of Opposition Ambadas Danve cast their votes in their constituencies.

It is BJP versus Congress in Jalna and the Uddhav Thackeray-headed Shiv Sena (UBT) versus Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena in Aurangabad.

In Beed, the BJP has fielded former state minister Pankaja Munde instead of sitting MP and her younger sister Pritam Munde. Pankaja's main rival is Bajrang Sonawane of the NCP (SP).

In Shirur, sitting MP Kolhe of the NCP (SP) is pitted against Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil, who is contesting on the NCP ticket.

After Baramati in Pune district, Shirur is another prestige battle for Ajit Pawar, who has publicly stated that he wants to ensure the defeat of Kolhe.

In northern Maharashtra's Nandurbar (ST-reserved), sitting BJP MP Heena Gavit and Congress' Gowaal Padvi are locked in a straight contest.

In Ahmednagar, western Maharashtra, BJP sitting MP Sujay Vikhe Patil is taking on NCP (SP) leader Nilesh Lanke.

Lanke, the ex-MLA from Parner in Ahmednagar district, sided with Ajit Pawar when the NCP split in July 2023. However, he later returned to the Sharad Pawar camp.

Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after 80 in Uttar Pradesh.

Out of the 48 seats, polling culminated in 24 in the first three phases of elections on April 19, April 26 and May 7. PTI ND AW GK ARU BNM

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