In a minor ruckus, BSP leader Sunil Khambe, on Monday, threw ink on the EVM at a polling booth while casting his vote, according to ANI. Visuals show him shouting 'EVM machine murdabad' as he is dragged away by police officials. After being escorted out of the poll-booth, he was then detained by police officials.
#WATCH Thane: A Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader, Sunil Khambe threw ink on the EVM at a polling booth while voting for #MaharashtraAssemblyPolls was underway today. He was raising slogans of "EVM murdabad" & "EVM nahi chalega". He was later taken to a police station by police. pic.twitter.com/92MnGO2IEa— ANI (@ANI) October 21, 2019
Polling was concluded in Maharashtra at 6 PM, with a voter turnout at 63%. Various senior leaders like CM Devendra Fadnavis, the Thackerays, Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal and Smriti Irani were seen voting. Bollywood too came out in big numbers to exercise their democratic rights. Many celebrities like the Khans, Deepika Padukone, Javed Akhtar, and Shabana Azmi were spotted voting at their respective poll booths.
In Maharashtra, the 'Mahayuti' alliance of BJP, Shiv Sena and smaller parties is against the 'Maha-agadhi' led by the Congress and the NCP. In the saffron alliance, BJP will be contesting on 150 seats, and Shiv Sena will fight on 124 seats in Maharashtra. Alliance partners of BJP have fielded 14 candidates on the party's lotus symbol. Meanwhile, the Congress is contesting the polls in alliance with the NCP. Both parties are contesting on 125 seats each in the 288-member Assembly and its allies on the remaining 38 seats.
The biggest factor favouring the BJP is the successful passage of the Maratha Reservation which guaranteed 12% in educational institutions and government jobs, apart from the recently implemented reservation for the Economically Weaker Section. The recent abrogation Article 370 too has had a major impact on the polls with PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah including it in their poll campaigns. The Fadnavis has also pushed for major development schemes in the state, boosting manufacturing in the state.
Apart from these factors, the impending Ram Mandir verdict, the recent Aarey protests, the fall of PMC bank and the ED probe into NCP leader Praful Patel's alleged D-gang links too have played a main factor for voters. Meanwhile, in Maharashtra, former Congress Mumbai chief Sanjay Nirupam's open revolt against Congress leader Milind Deora has created confusion. The recent spree of migration of senior Congress leaders like Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Narayan Rane and others to BJP has left the Opposition weak.