Marginal increase in voter turnout

The city has slightly outperformed itself in the GHMC elections this time on Tuesday, by clocking 45.71 % overall polling in its 149 divisions.

During last GHMC elections in 2016, the polling was at 45.3% for 150 divisions. This time, election at one division, Old Malakpet, was cancelled and rescheduled for December 3, owing to a mix-up in the symbol of the Communist Party of India.

Despite the betterment in polling percentage, the laid back attitude of the city voter appeared more pronounced this time, vis-a-vis the high decibel campaign by a few political parties. Electioneering by political heavy weights such as Amit Shah seems to have had little impact on the turnout.

GHMC Commissioner and Election Authority D.S.Lokesh Kumar announced the final polling percentage post midnight, previous to which, at 5 p.m., the figure stood at 35.8%. On Tuesday, the polling began at 7 a.m. at most centres without much ado, as there were no EVMs to give trouble this time. People began trickling in, and by 9 a.m., 3.1% polling was complete. A few polling stations such as the one at AV College, Domalguda, showed promise, with the booths recording over 12 %polling before 10 a.m.

“I came to vote before I join duty at the hospital, as this is the only time I can spare,” said Surender Rao, a paediatrician who stood in the queue line all dressed up in the surgical suit.

The same enthusiasm, however, was not visible at other polling stations. At one booth in Old Bowenpally, the polling had remained below 20 % even after 1 p.m. Young voters, whose contribution was expected to tip the scales, were conspicuous by their absence at several polling stations. The overall polling percentage rose to 8.9% by 11 a.m., 18.2 % by 1 p.m. and to 29.76 % by 4 p.m.

For a total of 74.13 lakh voters, only over 22 lakh exercised their franchise by 4 p.m. By 5 p.m., the officials updated the figure to 35.8 %, with no further updates till after midnight.

Officials under the condition of anonymity informed that the final figures were being noted down from the diaries of the polling officers, as they arrived to turn in the ballot boxes, so as not to give any scope for errors.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 6:20:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/abysmal-voter-turnout-in-ghmc-polls/article33225295.ece

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