10 percent of Maharashtra polling stations 'hyper-sensitive'

With barely 24 hours left for polling in the Maharashtra assembly elections, the Election Commission has identified over 9,900 or nearly 10 percent of the 91,376 polling stations in the state as "hyper-sensitive", officials said here Tuesday.

Mumbai: With barely 24 hours left for polling in the Maharashtra assembly elections, the Election Commission has identified over 9,900 or nearly 10 percent of the 91,376 polling stations in the state as "hyper-sensitive", officials said here Tuesday.

Adequate police and paramilitary forces will be deployed in the vicinity of these polling stations to prevent any incidents of violence or threats.

The security would include over 35,000 state police personnel, 12 companies of State Reserve Police Force, 17 companies of Central Industrial Security Force, 11,500 Home Guards, Quick Response Teams, Flying Squads and others at the polling stations.

The Election Commission, in its standard directives, has also banned use of mobile phones within 100 metres from the polling stations. Political parties can set up their tables outside 200 metres with two chairs to help the voters.

Even the media will be kept out of polling stations and any surveys or exit polls would be allowed to be released only after the polling hours end.

Around 8.35 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise from 7 am to 6 pm Wednesday (Oct 15) to elect 288 representatives from among 4,119 candidates in the state.

The bitter month-long campaign ended here Monday evening by the main contenders - Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, and Shiv Sena - besides other parties like the Bahujan Saman Party, Samajwadi Party, CPI, CPI-M, and other regional and local parties and 1,699 Independents.

Of the 288 seats, 29 are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 25 for the Scheduled Tribes candidates, with a majority of the constituencies having five- or six-cornered contests.