‘More khakiwallas than voters at booths’ | delhi | Hindustan Times
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‘More khakiwallas than voters at booths’

Low voter turnout was the highlight of the by-election for the communally sensitive Okhla assembly seat on Tuesday reports HT Correspondent.

delhi Updated: Sep 16, 2009 00:27 IST
HT Correspondent

Low voter turnout was the highlight of the by-election for the communally sensitive Okhla assembly seat on Tuesday.

Of 2.26 lakh voters in the constituency, only 35.79 per cent voters came out and exercised their franchise.

The by-election was necessitated after Congress’ Parvez Hashmi, the sitting member of legislative assembly, got elected to the Rajya Sabha.

According to senior Delhi election officers, the voting was off to a slow start with just 16 per cent voters coming out and vote in first four hours of the voting.

As it was a working day, officials said they were hoping most voters cast their votes before going to their work.

Officials said they had expected voting to pick up again after lunch, especially in Muslim-dominated areas, but most polling booths remained deserted even during the last three hours of voting.

“There seems to be low turnout because of the Ramzan. Also, this election will have no impact on government formation,” said Parvez Ahmed, a cleric and a resident of Batla House. “This has also kept voters away from the polling booths.”

The memories of Batla House police encounter were still fresh in the minds of voters in Okhla assembly segment when votes were cast to elect a new government in Delhi in November 2008.

Over 49 per cent (49.41 %) eligible voters had exercised their franchise in Okhla assembly segment in 2008.

There is a direct fight between Congress candidate and former deputy Mayor of Delhi Farhad Suri and Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Asif Mohammad Khan on this seat.

Counting for the Okhla seat, along with Dwarka assembly seat where by-election was held on September 10, will take place on September 17.