Voter apathy, the perennial bane of Hyderabad district

There has been a continuous downtrend in the polling percentage in Hyderabad district.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.(Photo | EPS)

HYDERABAD : With the Lok Sabha elections 2024 round the corner, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched an innovative campaign to get citizens to participate in the “Festival of Democracy” by creating awareness among voters to exercise their franchise.

However, the zeal to vote among the voters of Hyderabad district covering 15 Assembly constituencies and three Lok Sabha constituencies — Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Malkajgiri (partly) — is decreasing. This can be ascertained in the form of poor polling percentage in the elections since 2009. There has been a continuous downtrend in the polling percentage in Hyderabad district. Barring the Assembly polls held last year, Hyderabad has hardly crossed 54% polling since 2009.

Though the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has been taking up Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP), a programme of multi-interventions through different modes and media designed to educate citizens, electors and voters about the electoral process in order to increase their awareness and participation in the electoral processes, the response from the voters has not been encouraging as nearly 50% don’t cast their vote.

Huge challenge for election authorities

The Lok Sabha polls in Hyderabad district on May 13 would be a big challenge for the election authorities as polling would be held in hot and humid conditions where people fear to venture out of their homes.

In the 2009 General Elections, an overall 53.81% was recorded in Hyderabad district having 15 Assembly constituencies: Bahadurpura, Chandrayangutta, Charminar, Goshamahal, Karwan, Malakpet and Yakutpura falling in the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency.

Amberpet, Jubilee Hills, Khairatabad, Musheerabad, Nampally, Sanathnagar and Secunderabad fall in Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency and Secunderabad Cantonment is in Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency.

In 2009, Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat recorded 54.92%, Hyderabad 52.49% and Secunderabad Cantonment 54.32% — an average of 53.81%.

In the 2014 General Elections, the overall voting percentage was 52.99% in Hyderabad district (Secunderabad LS 53.17%, Hyderabad LS 53.13% and Secunderabad Cantonment 50.54%).

In the 2018 Telangana Assembly polls, an overall 50.29% was recorded in Hyderabad district. (Secunderabad LS 51.29%, Hyderabad LS 49.29% and Secunderabad Cantonment 49.11%).

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, an overall 45.65% was recorded in Hyderabad district (Secunderabad LS 46.26%, Hyderabad LS 44.75% and Secunderabad Cantonment 47.85%). In the 2023 Assembly polls, overall 47.88% was recorded in Hyderabad district (Secunderabad LS 50.54%, Hyderabad LS 45.43% and Secunderabad Cantonment 49.36%).

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