Pune: Lok Sabha Voting Trend Keeps Contenders on Edge

Pune: Lok Sabha Voting Trend Keeps Contenders on Edge

Pune: Lok Sabha Voting Trend Keeps Contenders on Edge

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The polling started at 7 am and picked up until 1 pm, at which point it slowed down briefly, before picking up steam once again before the finish.

15 May 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari

The turnout for the Lok Sabha election in Pune was marginally higher than in the previous election, but the trend of polls regularly shifting in the six Assembly seats within the Lok Sabha constituency left the candidates nervous.

Six Assembly segments make up the Pune Lok Sabha seat: Wadgaonsheri, Shivajinagar, Kothrud, Parvati, Pune Cantonment and Kasba Peth. Five seats have been elected by the Mahayuti, with the BJP holding four of them and the Ajit Pawar-led NCP holding one. However, from the Kasba bypoll last year, the MVA only elected one member of Congress.

The BJP was cautious this time around after losing its stronghold of Kasba in a bypoll last year to Congressman Ravindra Dhangekar, who also happened to be the candidate for the Pune Lok Sabha seat. The BJP had dominated the previous two Lok Sabha elections with the victories of Anil Shirole in 2014 and Girish Bapat in 2019. Murlidhar Mohol, a former mayor of Pune, is the BJP’s most well-liked candidate in the city.

The polling started at 7 am and picked up until 1 pm, at which point it slowed down briefly, before picking up steam once again before the finish. The Kothrud assembly segment, which is controlled by the BJP, had the highest attendance in the first two hours (7.59%), while Pune Cantonment, which is controlled by the Congress, had the lowest turnout (5.69%). At first, the other BJP stronghold in the Parvati assembly segment did well.

Kothrud maintained its strong turnout from 9 to 11 am, with 18.2 percent; but the Kasba assembly segment, which had selected Dhangekar as the winner of the 2023 bypoll, gained momentum and surpassed Kothrud at 1 pm with 31.1 percent, leaving Kothrud trailing behind with 29.1 percent.

In the next two hours between 1 pm to 3 pm, the overall voting turnout slowed down and the BJP-controlled Parvati with 38.1 percent jumped up the table of voting turnout of six assembly segments, and was followed by Kasba Peth with 37.2 percent.

By 5 pm, Kasba Peth overscored all other assembly segments with a turnout of 51.07 percent followed by Kothrud with 48.91 percent. However, the voter turnout throughout the polling lagged behind in Wadgaonsheri, Shivajinagar and Pune Cantonment, which was expected to stand behind Congress candidates.

Kasba peth remained the assembly segment with the highest turnout in the final hour of voting, at 57.90%, followed by Pune Cantonment at 50.52 percent. Both are regarded as congressional strongholds. Shivaji Nagar and Wadgaonsheri saw the largest increases, with 49.72 percent and 49.81 percent, respectively.