Efforts pay off, voter turnout up in city apartments

Efforts pay off, voter turnout up in city apartments

Residents of Prestige Shantiniketan apartment, Whitefield, after casting their vote at Hoodi on Saturday. DH PHOTO

The voter turnout in Bengaluru may have been abysmally low, but people living in apartment complexes certainly came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise compared with previous elections. 

The Bangalore Apartments’ Federation (BAF), an umbrella body of 276 apartments, said residents were more enthusiastic than before. Around 50 apartments actively participated in the polling while another 100 saw partial participation. 

The BAF’s Vikram Rai said the efforts of member associations had borne fruit in drawing more apartment residents to enrol on the voters’ list and exercise their franchise. “Compared with the 2014 elections, we have done better this time, though it’s still a mixed bag. We had tied up with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and those who voted got discounts on products,” he added. 

There was also an in-house competition between apartments. The apartment with the highest voting percentage would be given incentives or discounts. 

Sadashivam Ramakrishnan, the president of Kristal Campus II residents’ association, used a different tactic to encourage people to vote: residents were warned that garbage would not be picked from their doorstep if they skipped voting. “I called every resident for a meeting, but just 11 out of the 100 families turned up,” he said. “I wanted to make it clear to them that if we do not vote, government bodies will harass us and that the local representative will not listen to us. Many residents felt offended but I had to take such a stringent decision to ensure everyone voted.” 

His strategy paid off. Out of 146 people, 132 voted. 

Sumadhura Silver Ripples, an apartment in Whitefield, also had a good turnout and made a collage of all those who voted. Green Glen Layout, Bellandur, saw nearly 2,500 of its residents voting on Saturday, an increase of 700 from the 1,800 in 2014.