Shiv Sena and NCP workers in Pimpri, polling was largely peaceful in Pune district for the Assembly elections on Monday. Police said four persons were injured in the clash, one of whom has received serious injuries. They added that NCP’s former deputy mayor and corporator Dabbu Aswani was among the injured. An attempt to murder case has been registered even as Sena and NCP workers levelled allegations against each other for instigating the violence.
Close to 19,500 police and Home Guard personnel were part of elaborate security arrangements for the smooth conduct of the elections in three police jurisdictions in Pune district — Pune city, Pune rural and Pimpri-Chinchwad — which together cover 21 constituencies.
The polling in Pune city jurisdiction was peaceful. Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Ravindra Shisve said, “Polling in Pune city was entirely peaceful. We had a deployment of 10,000 personnel, including our police, Home Guard, reserved police forces, Central Armed Police Force and Central Industrial Security Force.”
Shisve added, “The EVMs (electronic voting machines) will be collected at the receiving centres in individual constituencies in the district and will be brought to the FCI (Food Corporation of India) premises for the counting. The premises have a three-layer security cover.”
Superintendent of Police (Pune rural) Sandeep Patil said, “Polling across Pune rural jurisdiction of the district was entirely peaceful.”
Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Sandeep Bishnoi said, “Voting in Pimpri-Chinchwad police jurisdiction was peaceful, barring one incident, in which an attempt to murder case has been registered. We are probing the incident and trying to trace the suspects involved.”
52% polling in Pimpri
Pimpri Assembly constituency registered an improvement in polling percentage with 52 per cent voter turnout as compared to the 2014 Assembly elections.
Election officer Vaishali Untwal said EVMs developed problems at three places but were quickly replaced. “27 VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) machines also developed problems, but were replaced,” she said, adding that the polling ended at 7.45 pm. “Those who joined the queue before 6 pm were allowed to vote,” she said.
The voting process was extremely slow at several polling stations in Pimpri with BSNL polling centre registering only 1.5 per cent polling in the first two hours. In Balajinagar area of Bhosari Assembly seat, voters were seen being ferried in auto-rickshaws, a violation of the code of conduct. The auto-rickshaw drivers said political leaders had paid the fare.