Baramati Polls: Turnout Dips Below 2019, Setting Stage for Tight Contest

Baramati Polls: Turnout Dips Below 2019, Setting Stage for Tight Contest

Baramati Polls: Turnout Dips Below 2019, Setting Stage for Tight Contest

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The recent polling in the Baramati parliamentary seat witnessed a turnout lower than that of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, intensifying the already closely contested race between three-term MP Supriya Sule of the NCP (SP) and Sunetra Pawar, the NCP candidate and wife of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

Despite spirited campaigning, Baramati recorded a voter turnout of 56.07%, a drop from 61.7% in 2019 and 58.83% in 2014, according to data from the Election Commission of India. By 5 pm, the turnout was at 45.68%, with a surge in the last hour. While these figures may undergo revision, the overall trend is unlikely to change significantly.

In the keenly watched contest, the NCP pins its hopes on securing leads from key assembly segments like Khadakwasla, Indapur, and Purandar, while anticipating a split in votes in the Baramati assembly constituency, largely divided along generational lines. Conversely, Supriya Sule’s party expects significant support from Bhor and Daund assembly segments.

Among the assembly segments, Khadakwasla recorded a 50% turnout, while Baramati, the Pawar family stronghold, saw a turnout of 64.50%. Indapur, where polling extended till 8:30 pm due to long queues, recorded a 62.50% turnout.

Reflecting on the dynamics, Parth Pawar, NCP leader and elder son of Sunetra and Ajit, expressed confidence in securing a comfortable victory margin, citing strong support from party workers and alliance partners.

However, underlying tensions within the Pawar family and the NCP surfaced during the campaign, with visible sympathy observed for senior leader Sharad Pawar in certain quarters. The aftermath of Ajit Pawar’s rebellion last year still resonates, contributing to the division among voters.

While the polling process remained largely peaceful, it was not without controversies. The NCP (SP) filed numerous complaints regarding violations of the code of conduct, intimidation, and alleged money distribution. Returning Officer Kavita Dwivedi confirmed receiving 26 complaints within 24 hours, promising thorough investigation and action.

Amidst the allegations, both sides remain confident in their prospects. A vocal critic, accused the opposition of resorting to unethical tactics in anticipation of defeat, a claim Ajit Pawar vehemently refuted, calling for impartial investigation by the Election Commission and police to reveal the truth behind the allegations.