Lok Sabha 2019: Bengaluru fails to turn out yet again

First-time voters showing their inked fingers at Mount Carmel English School in Bengaluru on Thursday. K. MURALI KUMAR K_MURALI_KUMAR  

Despite multiple campaigns and initiatives to improve voter participation, Bengaluru did not buck the trend of low turnout as citizens failed to vote in large numbers in the Lok Sabha elections held on Thursday.

All four seats in the city recorded a dip in voter turnout when compared to the previous Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

Bengaluru Rural seat, which usually records a higher turnout than its urban counterparts, continued to retain the distinction with 64.09%. Among the urban parliamentary constituencies, Bengaluru South led in the city with 54.2% of its electorate exercising their franchise. The two seats recorded a drop in turnout of 2.36% and 1.55% respectively compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

This year, Bengaluru Central saw the least number of citizens coming out to vote with a turnout of just 50.84%, and a massive drop of 5.27 percentage points as compared to 2014.

The voter turnout figures were released by the Election Commission at 9 p.m. on Thursday and are subject to revision, said officials.

Lok Sabha 2019: Bengaluru fails to turn out yet again

The Bharatiya Janata Party and electoral roll analyst P.G. Bhat attributed the drop to the ‘menace of missing names’ of genuine voters. “Elections officials had deleted a total of 5.05 lakh entries in an effort to clean up the rolls. However, there have been many wrong deletions leading to disenfranchisement of genuine voters,” Mr. Bhat argued.

Both BJP and Congress have interpreted the turnout in the city as being in their favour.

The 2014 Lok Sabha polls saw the highest turnout in the city in recent elections, which was attributed to the ‘Modi wave’. Public participation in the electoral process saw a jump in the range of 8% - 11% in the four seats compared to 2009.

While the initial data released by the EC on Thursday shows that the figure has dipped since 2014, it is still better than the 2009 turnout.

A careful analysis of how assembly constituencies in the city performed reveals that areas dominated by the middle class, like Malleswaram, Rajajinagar, Basavanagudi, Jayanagar and Padmanabhanagar, recorded a much higher turnout than the average in the respective Lok Sabha constituencies.

This probably indicates that the middle class voters, who are often criticised for their apathy, actually had a better participation rate than other sections of the population in the city.



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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 3:17:34 AM |

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