Irony as tribal voters brave jungles, Hyderabadis skip poll
Turnout in Telangana stood at 69.1%, but Hyderabad could only muster 50%
The Election Commission has put the final official turnout in the Telangana state Assembly polls at 69.1 per cent, about 3 per cent lower than the last elections.
Official statistics show rural voters have once again outperformed their urban counterparts through their overwhelming participation in the democratic process.
While Madhira constituency in Khammam recorded a recorded 91.27 per cent voter turnout, the figure was only 40 per cent in Malakpet constituency, in the heart of Hyderabad.
Among the 31 districts, the backward Adilabad was at the top with 76.5 per cent voters. The highest polling in Hyderabad of 60.12 per cent was in Secunderabad constituency.
Hyderabad city, with 16 assembly seats, recorded a lowly 50.86 per cent turnout despite the best efforts of the Election Commission and state administration officials to rally the people. Turnout was 52.8 per cent in 2014.
Apart from the lack of interest among the city folks, who preferred to take advantage of an extended weekend and go on family outings, the absence of the names of thousands of voters and difficulty in locating polling stations also contributed to the low turnout.
In some cases technical glitches in voting machines and VVPAT units also left voters flustered as they had to wait in the queues.
There were many pictures of contrast in the elections.
On the one hand the authorities had set up 15 model polling stations in different parts of Hyderabad. They rolled out red carpets, decked the stations up with flowers and balloons like a marriage function hall, and provided help desks and guides, but still failed to bring the voters in.
Meanwhile some tribal voters, living in remote hamlets in Khammam, Bhupalapally and Asifabad districts, walked for up to 16km to reach the nearest polling station.