Municipal polls: Low voter turnout in Mumbai

Mumbai: Marked by a poor turnout, polling is in progress today in 10 municipal corporations across Maharashtra, including the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, with no untoward incident reported so far.

Voter apathy was evident in Mumbai with hardly 8.4 per cent of the 1.02 crore electorate casting their votes till 10 am, two-hours-and-a-half after polling began.

Despite all government offices, educational institutions and a large number of private establishments declaring a holiday to enable the voters cast their ballots, there were hardly any queues seen at polling stations.

Congress MP from Mumbai North-Central constituency, Priya Dutt, expressed strong displeasure over the apathy of voters. "It is very sad that a lot of people have not come out to vote. If you don`t vote, you have no right to complain.
They are not contributing to the society. You are getting what you deserve….you are harming the society and the country," she said.

HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh also disapproved of the people`s lukewarm response to the civic elections. "Voting is a fundamental right and people must exercise their franchise. Educated people don`t come out and vote. The quality of life is going down in the city and some desperate measures are needed," he said.

Film personality Gulzar, who arrived at a polling station to cast his vote was "disappointed" that his name was missing from the voters list. No untoward incident has so far been reported from anywhere in the city or nine other municipal bodies where polling is underway.

A 55-year-old identified as Lalmani Vishwakarma, collapsed and died after casting his ballot at yograj Vidyalaya polling booth in Saki Naka`s ward number 154.

An electorate of over 2.02 crore are eligible to elect their representatives from among 1,244 candidates in the fray. Besides Mumbai, elections are being held in Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Nashik, Akola, Amravati, Nagpur and Mumbai municipal corporations.