Irony as tribal vot­ers brave jun­gles, Hy­der­abadis skip poll

Turnout in Te­lan­gana stood at 69.1%, but Hyderabad could only muster 50%

Gulf News - - India - BY MO­HAM­MAD SIDDIQUE Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

Tech­ni­cal glitches

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.

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