Lack-lustre start to Thane Lok Sabha bypolls

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Thane, May 22 (UNI) Polling for the Thane Lok Sabha by-polls commenced on a dull note with only around eight per cent of the 36 lakh-strong electorate having exercised its franchise till noon.

Most of the polling booths in Thane city and surrounding areas wore a deserted look.

Many NCP ministers were seen seriously moving around the constituency in a bid to coax people to come out of their house to cast their vote.

A local leader said Mumbra residents had not stepped out of their homes to vote since there was no water in the township.

The bypoll has been necessitated following the demise of sitting MP Prakash Paranjpe of the Shiv Sena.

The late leader's son Anand is pitted against Maharashtra Minister Ganesh Naik's son and NCP candidate Sanjeev. In all, there are 16 candidates in the fray.

UNI XR MAZ AKJ BST1657

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