Mumbai: Polling for 10 municipal corporations across Maharashtra- Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Nashik, Akola, Amravati, and Nagpur were held on Thursday.
Here are top 5 highlights of the polls:
1) First some disappointing news: Mumbai, which is electing India's richest civic body, on Thursday worked overtime to earn its reputation as a city with no interest in deciding who will govern it. Less than half of the registered voters in Mumbai voted. In the last election in 2007, the voter turnout was a similar 46%.
2) Then some big numbers: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or the BMC is the richest civic body in the country. It has an annual budget of more than 20,000 crores. 25,000 security men had been deployed across Mumbai; 3.5 crore voters, 1.3 of them in Mumbai, will elect 1,244 municipal councillors, including 624 women. In Mumbai alone there were 8,326 voting centres and 41,000 municipal officers on duty.
3) The Shiv Sena and the BJP together won the last election in 2007. This time, while the ruling Shiv Sena is fighting to retain its bastion, for the first time ever, the Congress is contesting the local election in partnership with Sharad Pawar's party the NCP, with who it runs the state government. Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is pegged as a dark horse and is seen as the likely kingmaker in what many say could be a neck-and-neck contest.
4) In Nagpur, it was an unusual sight when BJP president Nitin Gadkari reached a polling booth on a scooter to cast his vote. Voting was held for 145 seats in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation. (Watch)
5) Poet, lyricist and filmmaker Gulzar had to return without casting his vote. His name was reportedly not there on the voter's list at St Anne's School in Pali Hill (Bandra), Mumbai.