Once upon a time in Bombay | From the archives Lok Sabha Election 2019

A walk down memory lane: when Bombay went to the polls

A voter being marked with the ink at Arnala Koliwada in Bombay North constituency.

A voter being marked with the ink at Arnala Koliwada in Bombay North constituency.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

The Hindu taps into its 140-year rich archives to bring you glimpses of Mumbai’s eventful past, and, lest we forget, remind us all how we got where we are today

Bombay state elections; Heavy polling in most places; enthusiasm of women voters

Date: 03.01.1952

A walk down memory lane: when Bombay went to the polls

Polling in Bombay in the general elections concluded to-day peacefully at 6 p.m. without any untoward incident thanks to efficient official arrangements made at the 1,390 polling stations spread over an area of 90 square miles and also the fine sense of responsibility shown by the contending parties.

About 60 per cent of the 15.3 lakh voters exercised their franchise. At every polling booth voting was steady and periods of duliness were few and far between.

Late up to midnight, ballot boxes were pouring into the central polling stations from the polling booths in the constituencies. From information collected up to midnight, it could be said that about 56 to 60 per cent of the electorate had cast their votes: but the percentage ranged from 35 to 80 in the various constituencies.

There were a dozen case of impersonation. Some 12 persons were arrested on various grounds.

Heavy polling was witnessed in the thickly populated labour areas of the city where 30 to 40 percent of the electorate cast their votes in the first four hours of polling. In Bhuleswar and Kalbadevi areas, one of the busiest localities in Bombay, brisk voting was reported. The polling officer for that area said that nearly 69 per cent of the electorate had exercised their franchise. Other areas to report good polling were Mazagon-Ghodapdeo, Girgam-Khetwadi and Agripada-Madanpura.

In the suburbs of Bombay, good polling was reported. Voters in the Matunga-Sion-Koliwada constituency with highly educated electorate, formed long queues in front of the booths as soon as the sirens blared the commencement of polling. Another feature of this constituency was the participation of South Indian women in large numbers. At one booth in Brahmanwada road, nearly 90 per cent of them cast their votes. In other areas also, a large number of women took part in the election.

Men and women queued up in an orderly way in the predominantly middle-class areas of Matunga, Dadar, Shivaji Park and Girgaum. In a few booths here, the queues were still stretching in 50s and 100s at 6 p.m., when polling ended. Nearly 70 per cent of polling was reported in these parts. Over 60 per cent was the was the estimate from most of the suburban stations extending up to Borivli and Thana in the north.

Six sick voters came to a booth in Matunga on stretchers. One of them had come from a hospital with the permission from the doctor.

A voter who had neither legs nor hands was brought into the polling station at Kalachowki in Bombay City. The presiding officer helped him to cast his vote. At Madanpura, an old man of 90 defied his age and fatigue and came to the booth assisted by his grandsons. He fell unconscious in the booth and had to be removed in an ambulance.

Eight hundred workers belonging to BEST at King’s circle walked out as a protest against the management’s decision not to give them a holiday to exercise their franchise on elections day. Later on the management revoked their decision and granted a holiday.

Repoll ordered in three booths

Ballot boxes were found to have been tampered with at three polling booths in the Assembly constituencies of Mazagaon-Ghorapdeo, Tank-Pakhadi-Byculla (West)-Kalachowki (West) and Kurla-Bandra (East) says a press note issued by the Director of Publicity, Government of Bombay, to-night. The Press note adds that repolling will be ordered in those three polling booths and there will be no counting of votes in the three constituencies to-mor-row. The date of repolling will be notified later.

Elections begin in Maharashtra; Second day’s polling in three more N. Indian states;One-fourth of nation’s electorate vote so far

Date: 20.02.1962

A walk down memory lane: when Bombay went to the polls

More than a fourth of total electorate of 210 million had been covered at the end of fifth day of polling in the third general elections in country to-day.

Polling began to-day in Maharashtra which is participating in general elections for the first time as a unilingual state. Other states where polling continued to-day were Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

Constituency in Chanda DT. 90 percent voting reported

Voting was completed in 12 Maharashtra assembly and two Lok Sabha constituencies. There was also partial polling in another parliamentary constituency. Eighty to ninety percent polling — the highest reported so far — was recorded in some booths in the Saoli Assembly constituency of Chanda district in East Maharashtra, according to the Directorate of Publicity in Bombay. Mr. M. S. Kannamwar, the state’s buildings and communications Minister is seeking re-election from Saoli constituency.

An estimated 50 percent of the nearly half a million votes in the seven Ratnagiri Assembly constituencies of Maharashtra turned up at the polling booths to exercise their franchise, according to the collector of Ratnagiri who was contacted on the trunk phone from here.

The collector said there were no incidents whatsoever in those seven constituencies whose electorate also voted for one Lok Sabha representative for Ratnagiri. Mrs. Sharda Subroto Mukerji, wife of the late Chief of the Air Staff and the only woman candidate of the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, the ruling party’s nominee for this seat.

The predominance of women voters over men in this district will provide material for analysts as to how the women vote.

Five out of six assembly constituencies of Chanda district and their corresponding Parliamentary constituency went to polls today on the first day of polling in Maharashtra.

The polling in Rajura assembly constituency in Maharashtra, which has been postponed due to the death of a candidate will be held on March 11.

The constituencies that went to polls today in Maharashtra are Armori, Sironcha, Dhanora (reserved), Saoli and Chanda. All the sitting members of the five-assembly constituency are seeking re-election from their respective constituencies.

Mr. M. S. Kannamwar, Maharashtra’s Minister for Buildings and Communications, is seeking re-elections from the Saoli constituency. He is involved in a straight fight with an independent candidate.

For Chanda Parliamentary constituency, the sitting member, Mr. V. N. Swamy (Congress) is opposed by an independent and a Republican. Of the five Assembly constituencies which went to poll today, three are held by the Congress, one independent and one P.S.P.

In second round of polling in the Maharashtra State on Wednesday in 104 constituencies spread over 23 districts 7,433,576 voters will go to the

polls. There are 442 candidates in the field. The Congress Party is contesting all the 104 seats in the 23 districts. The Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti has set up 90 candidates.

Among the principal contestants in to-morrow’s elections is the Chief Minister, Mr. Y. B. Chavan, is seeking re-election to the Assembly from the Karad to the assembly from the Karad North Constituency. He is opposed by Mr. Keshavrao Pawar, (Peasants and Workers Party)

Subramanian Swamy Back, to contest Poll

Date: 08.02.1977

A walk down memory lane: when Bombay went to the polls

Mr. Subramanian Swamy, Jan Sangh leader, who returned to India this morning, told pressmen that he would contest the Lok Sabha elections from a constituency to be determined by the Janata Party. He would prefer a constituency in Bombay where he had worked in the slum clearance project. He also had experience from having worked in slum clearance programmes in Delhi. He had another claim for a constituency in Bombay — his wife belongs to Maharashtra.

He said the decision on his foreign trip had been taken by his party, with the concurrence of the opposition parties and the knowledge of Mr. J. P. Narayan. He wanted to know about the campaign that was launched against the Opposition parties in foreign countries. His visit to the U.S, Canada and Britain had helped greatly to correct “misconceptions that had been created by Government machinery”.

Party’s Prospects

In reply to a question whether India’s image had suffered as a result of the “happenings” here, he said it had not. Even now India was considered a leading country and a shining example for the working of democracy. But the abridgement of democracy had prevented it from occupying an eminent position among the developing countries of the world.

A walk down memory lane: when Bombay went to the polls

About the election prospects of his party, he said they were quite good and he was confident they would obtain a majority. One of the factors responsible for his assessment was that slim-dwellers who were traditionally supporters of the ruling party had lost faith in its leadership. They had suffered great hardships during the Emergency.

It was his views that Muslims would not vote as a block for the ruling party. Small landowners and the middle class had also suffered greatly during the last few months and they would exercise their franchise in an independent manner.

The detention of leaders belonging to various political parties had brought them together. This was a great political gain to his party. The Jan Sangh leaders did not consider the marxists as dangerous to society. Together they would like to ensure straight contests with the ruling party. Mr. Subramanian Swamy said his Passport was impounded on his arrival at Santa Cruz airport.

Candidates for election; Pradesh congress choice; All assembly seats to be contested

Date: 21.10.1961

A walk down memory lane: when Bombay went to the polls

The selection committee of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee has done a remarkable job in selecting candidates for the 240 Assembly and 40 Lok Sabha seats from Maharashtra (excluding Greater Bombay). In all there were 1,041 applications for the Assembly and 134 for the Lok Sabha seats.

A perusal of the selected candidates for the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats reveals that they are tried and seasoned workers of the party with complete faith in the party’s creed of nationalism and socialist pattern of society. As if to confirm this, the Chief Minister of the State, Mr. Y. B. Chavan said that the criteria for selecting the candidates on Congress ticket rested on the popularity of candidate in his constituency, his educational background, experience in social work, etc. Care has been taken to ensure that plenty of young blood is chosen. Adequate representation has been given to women and also to minority groups. There are about 165 new candidates for the Assembly seats, the others being sitting members. For the Lok Sabha, 13 sitting members are given tickets.

The list of of candidates which represents a cross-section of the population of the State, consists of 76 lawyers; 26 graduates; 13 non-graduates; 76 persons who have studied upto matriculation grade; and 47 who have not availed of the English education. Fifteen women have been selected. The youngest of the candidates is Miss Ratibha N. Patil (26), while the oldest is the MPCC President, Dr. G. B. Khedkar.

The committee had a tough time in choosing candidates from Nasik, Kolhapur and Bhandara districts due to group politics. In the final list of candidates, all the present Ministers and Deputy Ministers as well as all the office bearers including the President of the P.C.C., who sought tickets, have been included.

So far as candidates for the Lok Sabha are concerned, tickets have been given to three former leaders of Peasants and Workers Party and one former Muslim Leaguer. Five sitting members of the State Assembly have been selected to contest for Lok Sabha.

The MPCC is yet to decide about 24 Assembly and two Parliamentary seats from Bombay city. They have already decided to recommend Mr S. K. Patil and Mr. V K. Krishna Menon from South Bombay and North Bombay respectively.

The Congress in Maharashtra will most probably contest all the State Assembly seats. The P.S.P. has announced that it would contest 120 State Assembly and 18 Lok Sabha seats. The Jan Sangh is putting up 150 candidates for the Assembly and 25 for Lok Sabha. The main Opposition party in the State Assembly, Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, has not yet decided, how many seats it is going to contest.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:46:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/a-walk-down-memory-lane-when-bombay-went-to-the-polls/article26975700.ece

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