Mumbai: Millions voted on Tuesday in Maharashtra to elect ten major civic bodies, including the all-important Mumbai civic body BMC.
The election, which will also pick 11 Zilla Parishads and 118 Panchayat Samitis, is widely seen as a referendum on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Apart from the CM, stakes are also high for Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
Both of them led their respective parties from the front and were involved in a no-holds-barred campaign, relegating the Opposition Congress, NCP and other players like MNS and AIMIM to the background.
Fadnavis thanked voters for casting their vote.
Thank you #Mumbai for the record voting percentage & people from all Municipal Corporations & ZP for participating in festival of democracy!
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) February 21, 2017
"56 percent voters exercised franchise across ten municipal corporations in Maharashtra, including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation which recorded a 55 per cent turn-out," state election commission officials said.
The turn-out for 11 Zilla Parishads and 118 panchayat samiti polls was better than in the cities, at 69 percent, state election officials said this evening.
The polling was peaceful across the state.
A total of 17,331 candidates are in the fray for 3,210 seats up for grabs in this second phase of civic/local body polls in Maharashtra.
Apart from Mumbai, the municipal corporations which went to the polls included Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.
As many as 43,160 polling booths were set up and around 2.76 lakh election staff and equal number of police personnel were deployed for the conduct of the elections.
More than 1.80 crore electorate were eligible to exercise their franchise in the zilla parishads and panchayat samitis while the total number of urban voters stood at 1.95 crore.
In Mumbai, there are 2,275 candidates and 92 lakh voters.
For 1,268 seats of the ten municipal corporations, there are 9,208 candidates; for 11 zilla parishads there are 2,956 candidates for 654 seats, and 5,167 candidates for 1,288 seats in 118 panchayat samitis.
The first phase of 15 zilla parishads and 165 panchayat samitis polling was held on February 16 where 69 per cent voters exercised their franchise.
The counting will take place on February 23.
(With PTI inputs)