Polling in Central, North Defies Popular Notion - The New Indian Express

Polling in Central, North Defies Popular Notion

Published: 18th April 2014 08:54 AM

Last Updated: 18th April 2014 09:29 AM

It is believed that the voter turnout in urban areas is usually high only in Corporation and Assembly elections. But the turnout in Thursday's Bangalore North and Central Parliamentary constituencies exceeded the polling percentage during the 2010 BBMP elections (45 per cent).

Long queues outside many polling stations were common sights across the two urban constituencies. At around 12 pm, more than 50 people were standing in front of a polling station at East West School in Malleswaram Assembly constituency, which is a part of Bangalore North constituency. "We normally used to cast our votes within a few minutes of coming to the polling station. However, this time we have been waiting for the last 30 minutes and we might have to wait more. I am determined to vote and I don't mind waiting for some more time," said Venkatesh, a voter.

Polling station number 18 under Rajajinagar Assembly constituency (Bangalore Central) saw a turnout of more than 50 per cent by 2 pm.

Though political parties had deputed volunteers to help the voters find their names on the electoral rolls most of the people flocked to the help desk that was set up by the Election Commission near the polling stations. Long queues could be seen in front of the polling stations in Manjunathnagar, Shivanagara and some areas of Bharathinagara. The turnout was comparatively higher in some parts of Shivajinagar, Bharathinagar and surrounding areas. More than 60 per cent polling was recorded by 3.30 pm in polling station 96 of Shivajinagar Assembly constituency, which is a part of Bangalore Central.

Poor Facilities

Though most of the officials on election duty said the facilities provided in the polling stations were better than previous elections, some of them complained that the toilets and washing areas near the polling stations were in a bad condition. As they had to stay at the polling station on the previous night they found it very difficult to use the existing facilities. A woman official, who was on election duty in Kethmaranahalli government school, said, "They have given us sufficient drinking water and other things. But there is no water in the toilets, which is causing a lot of problems."

Unaware of Rules

According to the Election Commission's guidelines, women officials on election duty were permitted to go home the previous night and were supposed to be present in the polling station at 6 am before the mock poll procedure. But some of the women officials who were deputed in Bangalore North and Central constituencies were unaware of the guidelines and stayed back in the polling stations.

Disappointed Voters

Mohammed Idrees Choudry of SK Garden was disappointed when officials at the polling booth told him that his name was not there on the list. "I have voted in Assembly elections, but this time my name is not there on the list. Thirty names from our area which has 410 houses are missing. The authority should take corrective measures," he said.

Mohammed Elliyaz, a senior citizen, said, "I am 63 years old and this is the first time that an incident like this has happened. I went to the Government School at SK Garden but the officer told me I cannot vote as my name is not on the list."

Mohammed Sadiq, who turned 18 last year, registered for voting, but when he went with his card to the booth at Bharathinagar ward, he was told his name was not on the list. Bharatinagar corporator Shakeel Ahmed confirmed that names of many voters in his ward were missing from the list.

Technical Glitch

More than 25 voters had to wait from 7 am to 8.30 am at Siddaguntepalaya in CV Raman Nagar ward as the voting machine encountered problems.

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