BENGALURU: Unlike many polling stations, this booth was quite spacious with proper lighting and air. It was even physically challenged-friendly and close to the main road. But then, many people hesitated to cast their vote here. Reason: The polling station was inside the crematorium and the orthodox voters were reluctant to enter the premises. The polling station shed was constructed right inside the Hindu Rudra Bhoomi at Chamarajpet near Mysuru Road. Entrance for the crematorium and polling station was perpendicular to each other.
While the polling per cent in Chamarajpet assembly constituency was close to 60 per cent, this polling station saw only 600 out of 1,246 voters turning up, which translates to less than 50 %.“In my caste, women do not go to crematorium so my wife did not vote. My son who is a first-time voter too did not come as we do not go to crematorium if parents are alive. We have been practising it for many generations. All of them wanted to vote. If it was a different polling booth, we would have come together to vote,’’ said Sridhar (name changed), a resident of Nanjamba Agrahara of Chamarajpet.
“Once we enter crematorium premises, we have to take bath and go to the temple, no matter for what purpose you visit it,’’ he added. Some did not turn up at all. “Evening I have to attend an auspicious function at my sister’s place. So I did not go to vote,’’ said Manohar Rao, who is also a resident of Nanjamba Agrahara.
Harrowing time for staff on duty
Garbage and mosquito menace haunted polling station staff posted at this centre. “Just outside the compound wall, people throw garbage. We could not sleep properly the whole night due to mosquitoes. Only in the morning, we got it cleaned,’’ one of the polling staff told The New Indian Express.