Rural Lucknow reaped rich harvest of votes cocking a snook at their city cousins. The voters of five urban assembly constituencies (52.2% turnout) remained way behind their rural counterparts in four constituencies (60.75% turnout).
Some people said it was the enthusiasm of the first-time voters, consciousness of the youth, women and responsible elderly citizens in rural areas that resulted in an impressive voters’ turnout. Some others opined that the turnout was high in rural areas as the poll schedule suited them this time. “These days villagers are free, as it is not the time when they sow or harvest crop. Besides, the perfect weather also suited them,” said Ram Kumar, a polling agent of a Mohanlalganj assembly candidate. He was standing at the Nagram secondary school polling centre.
Though political experts had different reasons for the better turnout, it was a pleasant scene all around in rural constituencies — Mohanlalganj, Malihabad, Bakshi Ka Talab and Sarojini Nagar. The past elections have also proved that rural voters in Lucknow were more enthusiastic and conscious about the poll practice.
The first-time voters moved into the polling centres in groups — mostly during morning hours while women also walked down to cast their votes after completing their household work by afternoon. The presence of young and elderly voters was felt all through the day at polling centres.
At some of the polling centres, over 50% voters exercised their electoral power within two hours after polling started at 7am. “Maximum votes were cast here before 9am, as 310 out of total 606 voters turned up in the first two hours of polling,” said a poll officer at Khawaskheda primary school in Mohanlalganj. Similarly, 750 of 2,000 voters turned up at Anaiya Kahrgapur primary school here by 11am.
In Malihabad constituency, around 37% voters of Meethanagar and 25% voters of Nagar Panchayat polling centres turned up before 11am. Besides, a record was set at Rampur Dewari primary school polling centre where 74% voters turned up to exercise their franchise.