Like Mumbai, spike in voter numbers in nine other cities in Maharashtra | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Like Mumbai, spike in voter numbers in nine other cities in Maharashtra

The State Election Commission (SEC) has attributed the rise in the percentage to the awareness campaigns that they implemented with the help of the corporations, NGOs, schools and colleges.

mumbai Updated: Feb 22, 2017 07:47 IST
Surendra P Gangan
People cast their vote during Zilla Parishad & Panchayat Samiti elections at Wahal Village, Panvel in Navi Mumbai on Tuesday.
People cast their vote during Zilla Parishad & Panchayat Samiti elections at Wahal Village, Panvel in Navi Mumbai on Tuesday.(BACHCHAN KUMAR)

Like Mumbai, most of the nine other cities that went to polls on Tuesday, showed an improvement in the voter turnout. Among them, Thane, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune and Solapur recorded a hike ranging between 4% and 12%. The eleven district councils that went to polls on Tuesday, however, did see a spike in the voting percentage when compared with the corporations. 

Pimpri-Chinchwad registered the highest turnout of 67%. This also happens to be the highest spike after the 2012 poll percentage of 54.84. Solapur and Nashik saw 60% of their voters turn up to exercise their franchise, up by 7.64% and 2.81%, respectively. Thane and Akola registered turnouts of 58% and 56%, respectively, and in Akola, there was no change in the percentage from last time. The higher number of voters has resulted in the improvement in the overall average turnout of the ten corporation — 56.30%, up from 51.80 % in the 2012 polls. 

Mumbai saw a whopping rise in the turnout this time — 55%, from 44.75% in 2012. 

The State Election Commission (SEC) has attributed the rise in the percentage to the awareness campaigns that they implemented with the help of the corporations, NGOs, schools and colleges.

“The awareness programmes implemented by all the corporations with the help of private establishments, schools and colleges and even the corporate houses is one of the major reasons for the higher turnout. I am glad that the voters came out in big numbers ,” said state election commissioner JS Saharia. 

The voters’ names that had been duplicated were removed from the rolls this year and this was another reason why the percentage leapt. The city had 1.02 crore voters in 2012 against the 91.80 lakh voters registered for the 2017 polls. “One of the major reasons for the lower percentage in earlier elections was the repetition of voters’ names on the rolls. We undertook a drive to clean the list, resulting in the deletion of more than 10 lakh voters in Mumbai. Similar was the story for other cities such as Thane and Pune,” said an official from the commission. 

Nitai Mehta, managing trustee of Praja Foundation, said that the reason for the higher percentage was increased awareness. “The higher turnout is out of the want for better governance. Also, all major parties were going solo and they drove their workers and cadres to come out and vote for their respective candidates in a do-or-die fight,” he said. “I don’t think duplication of voters’ names had anything to do with it.”

Of the eleven district councils went to polls on Tuesday, Pune, Satara, Sindhudurg and Kolhapur reported the turnout of 70% each. Except Kolhapur and Gadchiroli, all other council have registered a rise in the turnout. Pune and Nashik saw a rise in the turnout by 5% and 4%, respectively, from last time. In Kolhapur, the turnout declined by 5% and in Gadchiroli, by 2%. The average of the turnout in 11 district councils improved to 69.43% from 67.17% in 2012. 

 BMC polls: Mumbai records 52.17% voter turnout, highest in last 3 elections