Mumbai: Rich and indifferent? Slight change in voting trend in affluent areas

  • Bhavya Dore and Vaishnavi Vasudevan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 16, 2014 18:55 IST

Men and women in designer sunglasses stepped out of their posh homes and chauffeur driven cars, to vote on Wednesday, with many claiming to be voting for change.

Though the queues were nothing like for the general election, upmarket south Mumbai, outdid itself compared to the 2009 assembly polls.

Colaba had a turnout of 47.59%, higher than its 2009 turnout of 35.9%, the lowest in the state.

In Malabar Hill, the turnout was 53.34%, higher than 2009 when it had hit 45%. In Bandra (West), it was 53.15%, higher than 43% in 2009.

“We were very disillusioned,” said Darryl Braganza, 66, a Carmichael Road resident, who voted for the Congress until this Lok Sabha election, then switched to the BJP. “We want change here in the state government too.”

Gulshan Jasdanwala, 76, a retired professional who voted at Nepean Sea Road, had her car drop her to the polling booth, two buildings from her home. “Look at the roads, look how bad they are,” she said. “I feel the previous government hasn’t done enough so I have consciously decided to vote differently this time,” she said.

Although Malabar Hill and Bandra (West) had a higher average than the city (51.96%), Colaba, Versova and Andheri (West) fell below. At Versova and Juhu, areas that film stars call home, the turnout was less than satisfactory, with just 40.33% at Versova, barely an improvement from the 2009 figure of 40%.

“There seems to be a general apathy among the upper class,” said Vivek Hurry, 54, a financial consultant from Cuffe Parade. “When I voted this time, I kept in mind the corruption and lack of direction.”

Most polling booths in the richer parts of Mumbai such as Peddar Road, Colaba, Pali Hill, Perry Road and Marine Drive, did not see long lines.

One woman, who voted near Warden Road, said she was hoping for change.

However, she admitted her husband hadn’t come to vote. “Sometimes there are practical difficulties, he was out of town,” she explained.

In some cases, poll officers were idle.

“There were j ust one or two families coming at a time throughout the day,” said an officer at BPM school on 18th Road, Khar. “There isn’t as much tur nout even though people made aware about the importance of voting,” the officer said.

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