BHUBANESWAR: Over four lakh voters abstained from exercising their franchise in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls. While the State Election Commission (SEC) had informed on Thursday that the polling in the BMC elections was around 50 per cent, it revised the turnout to 43.30 per cent, almost the same compared to the previous ULB polls in 2013, on Friday.
As per the statistics shared by the officials, out of 7,25,765 eligible voters in BMC jurisdiction, only 3,14,268 turned up for voting. The statistics suggest that 43.33 per cent male, 43.55 per cent female and 11.30 per cent voters of transgender community exercised their franchise. Ward 4 recorded the highest voter turnout of 70.09 per cent.
While political observers said the voter turnout was poor due to less participation of middle and upper class, educated and elite sections, Opposition BJP and Congress blamed the ruling dispensation for the low turnout.
BJP Bhubaneswar president Babu Singh alleged that the goof-up in preparation of the voters list in which names of members of most of the families were split to different wards resulted in the poor turnout. “This was done by the BJD government deliberately to discourage voters from exercising their franchise,” Singh said.
Congress leaders also raised the same issue. Both BJP and Congress claimed that poor arrangements for the voters in booths was another reason behind low voter turnout.
BJD spokesperson Lenin Mohanty, however, rubbished the Opposition claims and said though some voters faced the inconvenience in the process of finalisation of the voters list, both BJP and Congress are deliberately trying to politicise the issue as they are aware of losing the elections. “It is an attempt on their part to justify the loss they are going to face in the ULB polls,” Mohanty said.