As the assembly elections in Maharashtra are underway, Union Minister and Amethi MP Smriti Irani reached at a polling booth in Mumbai and exercised her franchise. As Irani was interacting with media, she interacted with a 93-year-old former army man, fondly called Khanna uncle. After casting his vote at the same booth as Irani, he waited outside the booth to speak to her. Gifting her fruits, the former army man praised the Amethi MP.
Speaking to media, Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani also said that she is confident that 'Mahayuti' alliance will form the government under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. She also urged voters to come out and vote and called 'Khanna ji ' the real hero of today's election. She extended her wishes to Devendra Fadnavis.
She said: "I have been living here for 20 years. This is the place that has given me everything. And when people like him (Khanna uncle) are praising me, I feel elated. And this is the specialty of Mumbai. You might not know people but when you live in the same building, the same locality, the same area, you are there for everyone. I would urge that everybody should come out to celebrate the festival of democracy. Khanna ji is the hero of today's election. if he at 93 can come out to vote, why can't you." She then asked Khanna ji to show his inked finger, which he did with utmost enthusiasm.
In Maharashtra, the 'Mahayuti' alliance of BJP, Shiv Sena and smaller parties is against the 'Maha-agadhi' led by the Congress and the NCP. A total of 8,98,39,600 people, including 4,28,43,635 women, are eligible to vote. As many as 3,237 candidates, including 235 women, are contesting in 288 seats and 96,661 polling booths are in place with 6.5 lakh staff for the voting exercise.
While the BJP has based its campaign in Maharashtra around the abrogation of Article 370, corruption charges on NCP and Congress leaders and on Sangh patriarch Savarkar, the opposition tried to corner the BJP on the handling of the economy with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi blaming the ruling party for the economic slowdown. The BJP, which is seeking a second straight term under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra, is contesting 164 seats, which include candidates of smaller allies contesting on its lotus symbol, while Sena has fielded candidates on 126 seats. On the other hand, the Congress and the NCP are contesting on an equal number of seats, that is 125 each.