Thursday, May 15, 2008

Shameful!!! Bangalore city had lowest voter turnout - 44.5%

I am feeling ashamed to say that Bangalore City had the lowest voter turnout - 44.5%. Even Bangalore rural areas saw 70-75% voter turnout. So abysmal is the turnout that I have begun to ask - Do educated people really bother about the country?

An immediate reaction to this by any reader - "Are political leaders bothered about the country?"

My answer to that is throw out the wrong person. If everyone is wrong, vote for the party which you think would do better to the state. The next reaction to this would be - "No party makes a difference. Everyone is the same".

I say - "Do we have a choice?" Can we live without a government? Can we live with hung assemblies? How can decisions be made without a government in place? Definitely, one must understand Karnataka is well placed in all indices compared to U.P, Bihar, Jharkhand. At least we have 65% literacy, better road and water compared to other states. As educated people, we need to be responsible.

Another reason cited for low turnout is - "Non-listing of voter's names". I guess every area Election Commission repeatedly made announcements where they can get their names added. Even if I assume people were right and EC was wrong, how can high turnout be possible in rural areas. This time even liquor lobby which used to trap farmers to vote has been banned strictly by EC.

Another reason cited is delimitation exercise by which new constituencies were drawn and old ones merged. Even if this were to be taken as a valid point, how is that it did not reflect in rural areas.

This is all an excuse. Have people forgotten that from now on Bangalore cannot be neglected as 28 seats are counted in the 224 seats. Earlier it was 16. Earlier this led politicians to neglect Bangalore. Now Bangalore city has a greater say. Which means people have more powers to talk about development in Bangalore.

The low turn out may cause adverse effects and make no party a clear winner in which case we are going to face far worse problems.

Nobody knows what the election outcome would be. We should not only be talking of our rights, but also perform our duties. Our foremost duty is to exercise the vote.

It is due to neglect of educated urban voter that a reforms led government of Narasimha Rao fell in 1996 and reforms led Vajpayee government fell in 2004. At least in the former case, the corruption was too high despite excellent progress. In the latter case the progress was higher than corruption. Both lost.

I still remember when 2004 Lok Sabha elections were taking place, Aaj Tak covered a family which wanted to have a picnic in Khandala on the same day. When reporters asked the person said on camera - "Holiday chutti mana rahein hai family ke saath" (It's a holiday, so celebrating with my family)...Is election day a holiday to enjoy? BJP did so much for the middle class and same with Narasimha Rao but middle class involvement in election was so less.

If this is the attitude we continue with we should stop talking about the country and its future. Stop complaining about problems.


Pratik Shah said...

Voter turnout is 44 %
I say.... Did you vote ?

RisingCitizen said...

Good point...Unfortunately, I am in the US. HAd I been there in Bangalore, I would have voted. I voted for Congress in 2004 Assembly elections.