Will Bengaluru come out to vote big this time?

2019 saw 54% polling; long weekend could play spoilsport; people question what they will get in return for voting
All eyes are on all four parliamentary constituencies -- Bangalore Rural, North,  and Central. Political parties, candidates and election officials have left no stone unturned to ensure the voting percentage rises.
All eyes are on all four parliamentary constituencies -- Bangalore Rural, North, and Central. Political parties, candidates and election officials have left no stone unturned to ensure the voting percentage rises. Representative image

BENGALURU: Bengaluru, the tech capital and state capital, is not important only for the income it generates, but also for the population it houses, more so the number of voters.

All eyes are on all four parliamentary constituencies -- Bangalore Rural, North, and Central. Political parties, candidates and election officials have left no stone unturned to ensure the voting percentage rises.

As per District Election Officer Tushar Girinath, the overall voter percentage in Bengaluru was around 54% in the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2023 Assembly elections.

Experts put it down to the laggard attitude of citizens, which is the same in other cities too. Citing the example of Tamil Nadu, they said voting percentage in Phase-1 was 69.72%, while Chennai recorded 55.94%. Voting was on Friday, and the long weekend was ideal for people to go on vacation.

“Voting percentage in urban areas is low compared to rural areas. This is because of multiple reasons. During interactions with citizens in our door-to-door campaign to increase voting awareness, people gave strange reasons for not voting -- don’t know where the booth is, there is too much of a rush, it is too far, local issues have not been resolved, e-roll has not come, booths are not hygienic, or there are no facilities. Some even questioned what they will get in return for voting,” said an election official.

The 2019 Lok Sabha poll data showed the voting percentage was higher in Bangalore Rural with 64.98%, compared to other three constituencies — Bangalore Central recorded 54.32%, Bangalore North 54.77% and Bangalore South 53.7%.

This election, the battle to look forward to will be Bangalore Rural, where incumbent MP DK Suresh is contesting on a Congress ticket against Dr C N Manjunath, noted cardiologist and son-in-law of former PM HD Deve Gowda, on a BJP ticket.

A similar tussle to watch out for is Bangalore South, where incumbent Tejasvi Surya from BJP is battling Soumya Reddy, daughter of Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy. In Bangalore Central, the fight is between incumbent BJP MP PC Mohan and Congress candidate Mansoor Ali Khan. In Bangalore South, Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje is up against Congress’ Rajeev Gowda.

The total number of eligible voters in Bengaluru is 1,07,92,586. The largest number of voters is from Bangalore North - 32,14,496. It is to be noted that Bangalore North is the largest parliamentary constituency in the state and is also one of the large five in the country. It has eight assembly constituencies. The second biggest constituency is Bangalore Rural with 28,02,580 voters with eight assembly segments. Bangalore Central has a total of 24,33,751 voters and Bangalore South has 23,41,759 voters.

Responding to the point that most residents of in Bengaluru are non-natives and hence voting percentage is low, political expert Sandeep Shastry said: “If that was the case, then voting percentage would have been more in other parts of the state. Similar poor voting percentage has also been seen in many urban Indian cities. The urban, middle and upper middle class people are poor in voting. Everybody is corrupt cannot be a mask for not voting.”

Traders, auto unions to help voters reach polling booths

Mohammed Yacoob @Bengaluru: To help people be part of the democratic set-up, traders and auto associations have decided to help voters reach polling booths and cast their votes. General Secretary of Russel Market, Idrees Choudry said the market would be shut on voting day and appealed workers to go to their native places and vote.

The association will also help voters in the jurisdiction to reach the booth and vote. Similarly, the auto association in various areas is all set to help voters reach the booth, while not charging voters. “We have already informed our regular customers that we will be closing the market all day on polling day.

This apart, we want to help the voters in Russel Market surrounding the booth to cast their votes without any difficulty,” said Idrees Choudhary. Echoing the same, M Manjunath, President, of Adarsh Auto and Taxi Drivers’ Union said after talks from various auto unions, it was decided to press around 1000 autos across 27 assembly constituencies in Bengaluru to help aged, pregnant and physically abled voters reach booths and be dropped back home.

The service is free. “We will also be telling voters not to get induced. The initiative is to ensure voters’ percentage increases in Bengaluru,” said Manjunath. He said the members will have no affiliation to any party and it is purely a social service to help voters reach the booth.

Elaborate security arrangements in city for today’s polling

Bengaluru: The city police is all set for today’s Lok Sabha elections. Under the Bengaluru City Police Commissionerate, five parliament constituencies - Bengaluru North, Bengaluru South, Bengaluru Central, Bengaluru Rural and Chikkaballapura are going for the polls. Senior officers reviewed security arrangements on Thursday and all DCPs have been deployed personnel as per requirements at each polling station. Additional security forces have been deployed at ‘critical booths’. Senior officers also ensured that basic amenities are in place for the deployed personnel. More than 13,000 policemen working in the city police commissionerate have been deployed across the city. Along with the city police, additional men from central police forces have also been deployed.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com