Elders, not youth, show zest on polling day

Weekend inertia, rain keep voters indoors during elections for a new BBMP Council

Elders, not youth, show zest on polling day

Weekends usually mean late mornings and leisurely breakfasts and even as many Bengalureans woke up early to cast their vote, the numbers failed to meet expectations.

The voter turnout picked up slowly in polling booths and in several stations, there was not even 25 per cent turnout late in the afternoon. It was observed that the number of senior citizens who turned up for casting their votes was higher compared to first-time voters and youngsters. At the BTM Layout booth (polling station 4), even at 1.30 pm, only 174 people (97 men and 77 women) out of the total 679 enlisted voters had cast their vote.

A peek into the voting mood in most other parts of the city threw up a similar scenario. In most wards of Dasarahalli Assembly constituency, people were coming in twos and threes to caste their votes. In fact, volunteers helping people find their names in the voting list and the police personnel did not have much to do. They were seen snacking, talking to local residents and enjoying the cool weather.

Koramangala was no exception to the dull turnout. However, some of the senior citizens braved the morning drizzle to exercise their right to vote. Lalitha, one of the senior citizens from Koramangala, said she wanted to finish voting in the morning.

“Last time, during the Lok Sabha elections, I had to wait for nearly one hour to cast my vote, so I ensured that I came early this time.”

No pomp, no fervour

In other parts of the city, the pomp and fervour normally associated with electioneering on the day of voting was missing in many areas in Vijayanagar, Kamakshipalya, Basaveshwaranagar, Rajajinagar, Magadi Road, Prakash Nagar and Nandini Layout. There was hardly any activity in a majority of the booths while the agents and polling booth staff kept waiting for voters.

It was a holiday mood and Rajajinagar saw less traffic congestion. “It was a weekend. Schools and colleges did not function. Many professionals and educated voters chose to stay away from voting. “We were not surprised with the trend,” Krishnappa, one of the candidates for Rajajinagar ward, said.

Except for Kamalanagar area in Basaveshwaranagar, the response was lacklustre in other areas in this part of the town.

Rain kept them indoors

In a few pockets of the city such as Tannery Road, Chickpet and Shivajinagar, 8 am-11 pm was the busiest period in the polling booths and this led to traffic jams.

However, the late afternoon downpour kept citizens away. Further, following the incident where a man died after a tree branch fell on him, the polling station at BBMP Junior College and High School, Tasker Town, wore a deserted look. A few voters exercised caution while entering the polling booths there.

Optimistic few

In spite of the overall lukewarm response, those who cast their vote held up their optimism. Candidates offering money and making unrealistic promises were habitual, but the voter had the responsibility to discern the best among the lot, said Rajanna H, a resident of Jayanagar East ward.

“We must look beyond this and not get lured into corrupt practices during elections. We have to exercise our right to vote,” he added. 

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