BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) goes to the polls on Saturday, amid scepticism that many citizens may skip voting. In the 2010 municipal elections, the city had recorded a low turnout of 44 per cent.
Analysts say the indifferent numbers are linked to the presence of a large migrant population. Many new residents are not registered as voters and their participation in local governance is minimal. However, voting in the 2014 Parliamentary elections was higher, recording an average of 58 per cent from four constituencies.
Observers say the general response to the BBMP elections is lacklustre this time. The outskirts of the city, usually abuzz with activity on election eve, were largely quiet on Friday. Candidates and party workers went from door to door for some last-minute campaigning, but that was about it.
BBMP commissioner Kumar Naik, who officiates as the District Election Officer, expects a 60 per cent turnout. “We have conducted street plays, and even roped in telecom operators to send bulk SMSes urging citizens to vote,” he said. Naik said he had personally visited some polling booths. “The staff will stay there overnight as polling starts at 7 am,” he said. In Jayanagar, some polling staff sat in dharna to demand remuneration. “The problem is sorted out,” he said.