While his classmates were cooling their heels on their school holiday on Thursday, Vedant Parikh, 14, who lives in Cuffe Parade, was busy knocking on the doors of his neighbours’ homes, urging them to cast their vote.
Unfortunately, the Class 8 student met with only partial success. “Some people remained indoors because they had no hope in the system,” said Parikh.
The voting pattern in the southern tip of Mumbai, which houses the city’s A-listers on one end, and slum dwellers on the other, was disappointing. The A-ward witnessed the lowest electoral turnout with a percentage of 34.15%. South Mumbai, overall, had a turnout of 37.4%.
While polling booths next to highrises in influential areas like Peddar Road, Cuffe Parade and Malabar Hill wore a deserted look, the booths near low-lying areas such as Machchimar Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Worli village had serpentine queues. “Since the terrorist attacks in 2008, we have been made victims of the state’s rigid licensing policies,” said Santosh Tande, 35, a fisherman from Machchimar Nagar.
Peddar Road was one of the areas from where a large number of residents came on the roads in August last year to support the movement against corruption. Most people standing in the voting queues on Thursday from this area were senior citizens; barely a few youngsters came out to vote.
Encouraging the voters at Peddar Road was Union minister Milind Deora, who voted in the first half of the day. “The anti-incumbency attitude of the voters towards the Sena-BJP rule will benefit the Congress,” he said.