Bengaluru, April 19 (IANS) Almost half of Bangalore’s urban voters didn’t vote during the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday, as voter turnout in India’s tech hub continued to remain stagnant and the lowest in Karnataka.
“Comparison of voting percentage in the city’s three Lok Sabha constituencies and its 28 Assembly segments during the parliamentary and Assembly elections shows no change in the apathy of the urban electorate in exercising their democratic rights,” a poll official told IANS on Friday.
Out of the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka, fourteen seats in the state’s central and southern regions went to the polls on Thursday.
The average voter turnout in the city was 53.87 per cent, with Bangalore North registering 54.63 per cent, Bangalore Central 53.53 per cent and Bangalore South 53.47 per cent.
“In contrast, Bangalore Rural polled 64.07 per cent, although the rural constituency is 40-50 km from the city centre,” admitted the official.
Interestingly, in the Assembly elections held on May 12, 2018, the apathy of the urban voters was by and large the same in the city’s 28 Assembly seats under 3 parliamentary constituencies.
“The average turnout of Bangalore Urban in the Assembly elections was 54.72 per cent, while in Bangalore Rural it was 84.03 per cent,” recalled the official.
In the 2014 general elections, the average turnout in Bangalore was 55.97 per cent, with Bangalore North registering 56.53 per cent, Bangalore Central 55.64 per cent and Bangalore South 55.75 per cent.
“It is unfortunate that about half of Bangalore’s electorate of 72.69 lakh don’t care to vote in either Lok Saba or Assembly elections despite being registered voters in the city.
“We need to find out the reasons for the low turnout in the city despite the best efforts of the poll panel to educate, promote and encourage the voters about exercising their franchise,” Congress official K.E. Radhakrishnan told IANS.
According to the final electoral list for the 2019 general elections, Bangalore North has the highest number of registered voters in the city and the state — 28,48,402 — while Bangalore Central has 22,04,853 voters and Bangalore South 22,15,533 voters.
In contrast, Bangalore Rural has 22,15,533 voters.