Mumbai: As polling ended in Maharashtra,
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Tuesday expressed confidence that
the ruling Congress-NCP combine would get a comfortable
majority in the 288-member Assembly on its own.
"We will form the next government with a comfortable
majority," Chavan told agency over telephone from Nanded, his
hometown in Marathwada region.
He, however, declined to comment on the exit polls of
television channels which predicted a hung Assembly with the
ruling coalition emerging as the largest bloc.
"Let`s celebrate Diwali first and then discuss this," he
The counting of votes will be taken up on October 22.
Chavan said the voting percentage of 60 was little better
than that in the Lok Sabha elections five months ago.
"However, in Maharashtra the average polling has always
been like this and varies from district to district. It is
shocking that nearly 50 per cent of the voters do not exercise
their franchise," Chavan said.
Expressing concern over 50 per cent voter turnout in
Mumbai, the chief minister said "we talk of development and
being responsible citizens and then don`t come out to vote."
He said polling staff could not reach at 22 polling
stations in Gadchiroli district due to Naxal threats. Election
Commission will decide on the polling date.
"Naxalism is a problem which needs to be dealt with
seriously," Chavan added.
To a question on alleged distribution of money and
violence in the run-up to the elections, the Congress leader
said voters have to take a conscious view on the wrong
practices followed by candidates.
Earlier in the day, Chavan cast his vote at a booth in
Nanded. Bhokar, the constituency of the Chief Minister, which
recorded 55 per cent turnout.