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They chose booths over AC homes

Notorious for staying indoors, enjoying the comfort of their air-conditioned homes, residents of 'Millennium City' Gurgaon pull a suprise as turnout triples from 2004, reports Sanjeev K. Ahuja.

india Updated: May 08, 2009 01:16 IST
Sanjeev K. Ahuja

It was a revolution of sorts. Notorious for staying indoors, enjoying the comfort of their air-conditioned homes, residents of 'Millennium City' Gurgaon thronged the polling booths on Thursday in large number.

A part of Gurgaon Parliamentary constituency, New Gurgaon registered mere 12 per cent in previous elections. But this time the turnout in these areas crossed 40 per cent.

Although the final figures were not available till late evening, HT collated polling percentage from booths across New Gurgaon. Three polling booths at the DLF Community Centre, which had recorded just 8 per cent polling in 2004 elections, registered a record percentage of 45 per cent. The four polling boots at American Montessori School in DLF Phase-II recorded 43 per cent polling.

People arrived in huge numbers along with their families. However, a good number was also seen leaving the polling booths as their names were missing from the electoral roll.

R.S. Rathee, president of DLF Qutab Enclave RWA, said polling in New Gurgaon townships was recorded in the range of 8-12 per cent earlier but the response this time was astonishing.

The average polling in Gurgaon Parliamentary constituency was 60 per cent while it was 51 per cent in Gurgaon Assembly constituency.

Management consultant Mukul Jain, a resident of Princeton Estate DLF Phase V, was a first time voter in Gurgaon. “I voted in my hometown in UP regularly before this. Now I have got my vote and ID card made here and I would continue to vote in all elections. I do not want to be a Pappu,” he added.

While many were inspired by the Pappu campaign, others like D.C. Haran of Regency Park-11 voted for change. “We have been complaining about crumbling infrastructure and how basic amenities are missing here. But unless we vote, we can't hold our public representatives accountable. I guess there were many like me who decided to get more hands on and so they voted,” he said.