MUMBAI: The counting of votes for elections to five seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council began at 8 am on Thursday, an official said. The six-year term of five Council members - three from teachers and two from graduates constituencies - is expiring on February 7 and polling was held on Monday to fill up the upcoming vacancies.
While the Konkan teachers constituency had recorded the highest voter turnout at 91.02 per cent, the Nashik division graduates seat logged the lowest polling at 49.28 per cent.
The teachers constituencies of Aurangabad and Nagpur recorded 86 per cent and 86.23 per cent voting, respectively, while the Amravati division graduates constituency seat saw a voter turnout of 49.67 per cent.
The contest for biennial elections to the Upper House of the state legislature was primarily between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde) combine and candidates backed by the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) comprising the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
All eyes were on the Nashik division graduates seat, where the Congress saw a rebellion in its ranks in the run-up to the polls. Three-time MLC Sudhir Tambe was the official Congress candidate from the seat, but he did not file his nomination papers.
As he opted out of the race, his son Satyajeet Tambe entered the fray as an independent. The Congress later suspended both of them. Differences had cropped up in the MVA over the polls.
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut had last month said the MLC polls have clearly shown confusion in the Opposition bloc. Later, MVA leaders sat together and ironed out differences.
The MVA had declared support to Shubhangi Patil (independent) in the Nashik graduates constituency, Balaram Patil (independent) in the Konkan teachers seat, Vikram Kale (NCP) in the Aurangabad teachers segment, Sudhakar Adbale (independent) in the Nagpur teachers constituency and Dhiraj Lingade (Congress) in the Amravati graduates seat.
The BJP had fielded Ranjit Patil from the Amravati graduates' seat and Nagorao Ganar, Dyaneshwar Mhatre and Kiran Patil from Nagpur, Konkan and Aurangabad teachers constituencies, respectively.
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