Cong-NCP to get comfortable majority in Maharashtra: Chavan
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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 22:19
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 said.

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.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 22:19

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