10 percent voting in Maharashtra, Gadkari votes

Nagpur: Peaceful voting was underway in seven Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra on Thursday, with an average of 10 percent polling reported till 9 a.m., officials said.

Of the total 1.30 crore electorate, the early voters included RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at a school in Nagpur.

Urging people to vote for national security and the country’s unity, Bhagwat said: “Voting is our duty.”

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and his family voted in Mahal area of his Nagpur constituency, eminent social worker Vikas Amte and his family voted in Anandvan (Chandrapur) while former union Minister Praful Patel and his family voted in Bhandara-Gondiya.

To beat the heat, many voters had queued up early at polling stations in Nagpur, Chandrapur, Ramtek, Wardha, Yavatmal-Washim, Gadchiroli-Chimur and Bhandara-Gondiya. There are a total of 14,731 polling stations.

Long queues of voters, including women and youth, were seen at polling stations in Aheri in the Maoist-infested Gadchiroli-Chimur.

On Wednesday, two CRPF troopers were injured when a blast took place in Etapalli in Gadchiroli.

The fate of 116 candidates including prominent ones like Nitin Gadkari versus Nana Patole of Congress (Nagpur) and Hansraj Ahir versus Suresh Dhanorkar of Congress (Chandrapur) besides former state Congress President Manikrao Thakre (Yavatmal-Washim) and state Women’s Congress President Charulata Tokas will be decided on Thursday.