Burqa-clad Anjum Bano, 42, is averse to being clicked by a camera. But this housewife from Bilaujpora locality of Bazarkhala area in Old City did not want to miss the chance to exercise her franchise on Sunday.
Not only did she convince all her relatives to cast vote, three of her friends — all veiled in black — also accompanied her to the Sunni Inter College polling booth. .
“We want to see our state scale new heights. We will make sure a suitable candidate is voted.
Nobody should miss this golden chance,” said a shy Bano, as she covered her face with her palms.
Like all other assembly constituencies of the district, Lucknow West, a predominantly Muslim dominated constituency, recorded 51% polling on Sunday — a jump of 24% from 2007 polls. Polling in Lucknow Central - another Muslim concentrated area recorded 53% polling — an increase of nearly 25% from the 2007 polls.
Like Bano and her friends, Muslims in old Lucknow aspire for a developed city where everyone exists with peace and harmony. No wonder then a majority of them, both young an old, stood out to be counted with a better turnout as compared to the past three assembly polls.
The passion was as evident among the youth as it was among the elderly of the city.
Rafat Jamal’s age (81) did not deter her from walking all the way from her Sheesh Mahal home to Picture Gallery to cast her vote on Sunday. She was in fact accompanied by two generations of her clan.
“I remember when I voted first for the Muslim league some where around Independence. Things have changed a lot but issues remain the same. At least we should have clean surroundings,” she added before walking towards the polling booth.
Forget about those who live in Lucknow.
Some enthusiastic voters from the city even came from outside, especially to cast vote. Zaid Ali, 25, works with TCS in Bangalore, but he came all the way on Saturday to cast his vote.
“Development is the key. And we can get it once we select proper candidates,” said Ali.