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45 percent polling recorded in GHMC polls

Wed 03 Feb 2016, 10:13:41
In the GHMC polls, the turnout was as low as 45 per cent. The only positive aspect was that the polling registered this time a marginal raise from 42.9 per cent reported in 2009. Thanks to urban apathy, a majority of electorate stayed away from voting. It was a low key affair at a majority of the polling stations. Some of them wore a deserted look till noon.
About 45 percent of the 74.23 lakh electorate cast their votes on Tuesday in the elections for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) which were marred by lack of enthusiasm among voters and sporadic incidents of violence. GHMC commissioner and special officer Janardhan Reddy said roughly 45 percent voters exercised their franchise. "This may change by two to three percent as the final figures will be available later," he said.
The polling ended at 5 p.m. but those standing in the queues were allowed to cast their votes. Janardhan Reddy said the polling was "peaceful barring minor incidents".
There was lack of enthusiasm among voters as the polling began on dull note but did not pick up as expected. The low voter turnout left the election machinery totally disappointed. The GHMC commissioner B Janardhan Reddy said “The urban inertia is very difficult to remove. We did whatever we could do to increase the voting percentage, but the city voter did not get motivated by us during the last one month.” Polling was, by and large, peaceful, barring stray incidents, which were, however, not poll related. He said the use of live webcast had helped them to address issues reported in the polling stations.
“In one of the polling stations, authorities disallowed voters to exercise their franchise as they were not in possession of voter slips. Pursuing it on the web cams, we could direct the authorities that it was not compulsory and asked them to allow voters with ID cards,” said the GHMC chief. He said webcasting was done in 2,900 polling stations in the city. He said there were not many ‘tendered votes’ this time compared to the previous election.
However, family members of both KCR and Chandrababu Naidu cast their votes at the allotted booths. IT minister K T Rama Rao and his wife Shailima cast their votes. Similarly, Chandrababu Naidu’s wife Bhuvaneshwari, son Nara Lokesh and daughter-in-law, Brahmani exercised their franchise. Chief secretary Rajiv Sharma and his wife also cast their votes on the Chinmaya school premises at Kundanbagh area in Begumpet.
Governor E S L Narasimhan and his wife Vimala Narasimhan cast their votes at Administrative Staff College of India premises. Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said, “Now I did cast vote and got a right to question the corporator concerned on development works. It is our democratic right to vote in elections and participate in the development process,” he said. Residents of Roshanuddowla basti in Hastinapur bluntly refused to go into the polling station to cast votes until their long pending civic problems were solved.

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