Despite brisk start, only 32% polling in Andheri East bypoll (Ld)

Despite a brisk start on Thursday morning, around 32 per cent of the electorate voted for the bypoll to the Andheri East Assembly constituency here, the results of which would be declared on November 6, officials said.

According to Deputy Collector Prakash Patil, the constituency recorded about 31.74 per cent polling after voting closed on Thursday evening at 256 polling stations.

This is considered among the lowest voter turnout in recent years, although the state government had declared a public holiday for the entire constituency.

The main candidate in the fray is Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Rutuja Latke, the widow of former sitting legislator Ramesh Latke whose death in May necessitated the by-election.

She was put up as a joint candidate of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), and Latke contested on her party’s new name and symbol – Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and the Flaming Torch.

Latke faced competition from six other candidates — two from local political parties and four Independents — but is expected to romp home easily.

The contest lost its political sheen after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last week withdrew its candidate Murji Patel, while others like Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, Aam Aadmi Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena etc. did not field candidates for the bypoll.

A former BMC employee, Latke faced challenge from by Bala Nadar (Aapki Apni Party), Manoj Kumar Nayak (Right to Recall Party), and four Independents — Farhan Syed, Neena Khedekar, Milind Kamble and Rajesh Tripathi.

20221103-230606

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