Far away polling booths restrict voting in rural segments

In rural areas, party workers passively canvassed for their candidates by showing party symbols to voters outside the 100-m radius of booths.

Published: 24th April 2019 05:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2019 06:33 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (File Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Rural areas of the Thiruvananthapuram Parliamentary constituency witnessed brisk voting on Tuesday despite the scorching heat. Long queues of voters were seen at several polling stations, including remote booths in the Neyyattinkara and Parassala Assembly segments. 

While polling in rural pockets reported good voting in the morning and evening, urban areas were slow to catch up. Also, unlike previous elections, several women voters reached the booths and even waited for a long time to vote. 

In rural areas, party workers passively canvassed for their candidates by showing party symbols to voters outside the 100-m radius of booths. Even some not-easy-to-reach booths saw encouraging voter turnout. One such booth was at BMLP School at Kulathoor near Neyyattinkara, which is located on top of a hill. Reaching there was a tedious affair as vehicles had to negotiate with steep roads and curves.

ALSO READ | First time in three decades, polling crosses 70 per cent in Thiruvananthapuram

However, as Rekha Balachandran, who voted at the school, put it, “Voting is our right and should be exercised to show people’s strength in the democratic system.”Polling stations at Victory HSS, Olathanni, Chenkal, Kulathoor and Poovar witnessed a heavy rush of voters right from the morning. “Voting is the only privilege we have in a democracy. So I have to vote for the best candidate. I have no political leaning,” said Rasalam, a voter at Poovar. 

Elderly complain of low-light 
Some elderly voters complained of low light on the EVM due to which they had difficulty in identifying their candidate. The polling officers said the VVPAT machine, which was kept close to EVM, could not be expose to light as the rays could damage it. Nevertheless, several voters in rural areas were affected due to improper lighting as most booths are located in school classrooms which lack sufficient light. 
“I was unable to see the names and pictures of the candidates. Since most of us had entered the dark room from a bright sunny outdoor, we had to wait for some time in front of the machine before casting our votes,” said Leela Kumari, a voter at Chenkal.

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