KOCHI: A day after the polling booth at Kataribag, the naval officers’ residential area in Willingdon Island, registered a poor voter turn out in LSG polls on Thursday, the authorities here clarified that the poor polling was due to of non-renewal of voters list.
“Nobody approached Southern Naval Command for renewal of voters’ list,” said Navy spokesperson. The lowest turn out of voters in phase 2 of LSG election, perhaps the lowest in the entire state, was recorded at Booth No 3 of Willingdon Island South division of Kochi Corporation in Kataribagh. Only 2.61 per cent(40 of 1,532) votes were cast at Booth No 3 at Kendriya Vidyalaya.
Naval authorities stand firm stand on their statement that most of the voters in Willingdon Island North Division are civilians. Willingdon Island South is division 30 of Kochi Corporation. Shakrutha Suresh(UDF), Rajam(LDF) and Thulasi(BJP) were the candidates.
Since Willingdon Island is the seat of strategically - important Southern Naval Command, Naval Aircraft Yard and Cochin Port only a few civilians reside here compared to other parts of the city.
Vathuruthy near Naval airport is the only exception. However, as per the electoral roll as on November 1, 2015, most of the voters in Willingdon island are naval personnel and their family members.
Local political party workers said that they do not count votes in the booths. “We do not even go to Kataribagh for election work as there are a lot of restrictions here,” an LDF worker said.
It is known to everyone that navy personnel are a floating population. A huge number of them in Kochi have not got their names enrolled in electoral roll in Kerala. Though the electoral roll shows names of naval personnel, they might have moved from Kochi. Besides, the confusion over booth shifting due to water logging at Kendriya Vidyalaya would also have prompted voters to abstain,” Navy spokesperson clarified.