Voter indifference in Hyderabad was visible in the Telangana Assembly elections as the state capital recorded the lowest turnout of 50 percent as it went to the polls on Friday. The efforts of the Election Commission and various NGOs to improve polling in the city failed to yield the desired results in the tech hub.
Appeals by eminent citizens and even celebrities making a beeline to the polling centres failed to bring voters out of their homes.
According to the Election Commission, an average of 67 percent polling was registered in all 119 constituencies in the state till 5 pm and as those standing in queues were allowed to cast votes. The final figure is expected to be around 70 percent.
While there was enthusiasm among voters in rural areas, many polling booths in the state capital wore a deserted look. Among districts, Adilabad in northern Telangana, which has a large population of tribal persons, recorded the highest polling of 75.6 percent, while Hyderabad finished last with 50 percent.
Among constituencies within Hyderabad, Yakutpura in the old city area recorded the lowest turnout at 33 percent turnout. The city has a total of 15 constituencies with over 38 lakh voters.
It is believed that people either preferred to spend the day at home or left the city with their family to holiday. Friday was declared a holiday and since this is followed by two more holidays (Second Saturday and Sunday), reports suggest that many preferred a holiday at their native place or tourist destinations in neighbouring states.
Many people also took to Twitter to complain about the dismal voting percentage. While some stated that it was apathy, others pointed out that voters at several places complained that their names were missing from the voter list.
Prominent names that were missing from voter list include the family members of Finance Minister Etela Rajender and badminton player Jwala Gutta.
The one who raise voice against govt didn't voted today.. The one who judge govt didn't voted today.â€” shaik irfan (@Alshaikirfan) December 7, 2018
Just 45% vote percentage in Hyderabad. So from next elections no holiday on elections day??? #TelanganaElections2018 @KTRTRS @Khaleeqrahman
It Saddens me to see majority people of Hyderabad not exercising their voting rights but still expect the government which was not chosen by majority to be govern with fairness.â€” Ranjith Katam (@BeingRanjith) December 7, 2018
RIP democracy #TelanganaElections2018
The Paradox of Literacyâ€” Kurmanath (@Kurmanath) December 7, 2018
Adilabad, the most backward District in Telangana reported the highest polling at 76.50 per cent, while Hyderabad, a Top-6 city in the country, clocked only 50.83 pc!#Telangana#TelanganaElections2018#TelanganaElections
Missing votes percentage seems to be higher than voting percentage in Hyderabad...â€” Ramanjaneyulu (@RamanjaneyuluGV) December 8, 2018
The city saw a turnout of 53 percent in 2014. Telangana Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajath Kumar wanted the IT companies to declare a holiday so that their employees could vote. While the IT companies turned down his proposal, they agreed to allow their employees to cast their vote.