High voltage assembly elections by and large conclude smoothly in Haryana & Maharashtra: Congress alleges EVM malfunctioning: Results on Oct 24

The  polling for first assembly elections after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, abrogation  of Article 370  and amidst economic meltdown, were concluded in Haryana and  Maharashtra on Monday, October 21.In Haryana, the elections for 90  seats are  confined to ruling BJP and  Congress with some nondescript political outfits trying to make their presence felt.   In Maharashtra, BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is contesting for 288 seats against Congress-NCP alliance. Presence of rebels after denial of tickets by the saffron parties is worrying them. Congress-NCP alliance is affected by almost mass exodus of several senior and junior leaders to BJP and Shiv Sena. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar cast his vote to seek re-election from Karnal assembly constituency while his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis is seeking re-re-election from Nagpur South-West. Aditya Thackeray, grandson of founder of Shiv Sena, is contesting from Worli in Mumbai metropolis. The electoral fate of over 4400 candidates- 1169 in Haryana and 3237 in Maharashtra -are sealed in EVMs by the voters. In Haryana, 19,578 polling stations were set up and in Maharashtra; there were 96,661 polling booths to enable voters for casting votes. In Haryana, 2,987 polling booths have been marked as vulnerable whereas 151 critical polling stations have been identified, the live footage of which would be monitored in the control room set up at the headquarters in Chandigarh. The assembly election in Haryana witnessed   multi-cornered contests among BJP, Congress, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Jannayak Janta Party (JJP).For Maharashtra Assembly elections, 40,000 police personnel will be deployed in Mumbai and drones will be used for surveillance as part of security arrangements, Mumbai Police had earlier said. Maharashtra police will also maintain strict vigil throughout the state with its personnel deployed for election duties in all districts along with home guards, companies of CAPF and CRPF for the polling day.BJP is contesting 150 seats out of a total of 288 assembly seats in Maharashtra. Its ally Shiv Sena fielded 124 candidates. The remaining seats have been left for smaller allies.During the campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were among national leaders who campaigned in the two states. NCP chief Sharad Pawar campaigned extensively in Maharashtra. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar highlighted the achievements of the BJP governments at the centre and in the state. Besides issues related to the northern state, the star campaigners updated the voters on several national issues. Rahul Gandhi and former Chief Minister Bhupendra Singh Hooda were the star campaigners for INC. The Congress leader slammed the Modi Sarkar for economic slowdown, unemployment, rural distress and abortion of Article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir as unwarranted. The government is distracting people’s attention from the multiple problems facing the nation, Rahul Gandhi added. PM Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Haryana CM Khattar and his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis updated the people about the initiatives taken at state and national levels to cope with agrarian crisis and also to improve the economy. Rubbishing the criticism for revoking the special status from Jammu & Kashmir, PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah explained to the electorate how the move will help the state’s integration with the national mainstream (edited by PK Chakravarty)

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