24.57 pc voters cast votes for Thane LS bypoll

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Thane, May 23 (UNI) Less than 25 per cent of the voters turned out to exercise their franchise in polling for by-elections to the Thane Lok Sabha seat, that concluded peacefully yesterday.

According to official sources, 24.57 per cent was the final voters' turnout in the polls to the second largest Lok Sabha constituency in the country.

The polling booths wore a deserted look and only about 4.18 per cent polling was recorded till 1000 hrs. By 1600 hrs, the polling percentage had risen to just 19.32.

Witnessing the early trend, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, senior Sena leader Manohar Joshi and NCP leader Chaagan Bhujbal made a bid to coax people to come out of their homes to vote but their requests did not seem to have evoked much response.

Thane District Collector S S Zende, who is also the district election officer, meanwhile informed that polling had been generally peaceful. There were no untoward incidents, he said.

Thane Police Commissioner Anil Dhere also maintained that polling had been peaceful barring few stray incidents. A non-congnisable offence was registered against Ulhasnagar MLA Suresh Pappu Kalani for allegedly slapping a BJP activist, while three cases of impersonation were registered, he said.

The bypoll was necessitated following the death of sitting Shiv Sena MP Prakash Parnajpe. The Sena had given the ticket to the late MP's son Anand. The NCP had fielded Maharashtra Minister Ganesh Naik's son Sanjeev. There were in all 16 candidates in the fray. The result will be decalared on May 25.

UNI XR/JM SSS KD VC1846

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