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Mumbai still indifferent

Mumbai has done it again. In keeping with the age-old political apathy, more than half of the city's 1.02 crore electorate did not bother to cast vote in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls on Thursday. Huddle before polls | Hung house is bad news for city | Your city. Your vote. Make it count | Making a mark

mumbai Updated: Feb 17, 2012 01:40 IST
HT Correspondent

Mumbai has done it again. In keeping with the age-old political apathy, more than half of the city's 1.02 crore electorate did not bother to cast vote in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls on Thursday.

In fact, the city took a step back. The overall turnout was around approximate 45% - 1% less than the figure of 2007 civic polls.

Mumbai's voting percentage was among the lowest of the nine other cities of Maharashtra that went to polls on Thursday. Neighbouring Thane polled a respectable 52%. The highest turnout - 58% - was observed in Solapur, Amravati and Nasik.

In the last two decades, Mumbai had never touched the 50% mark. And true to tradition, tony Malbar Hill and Cuffe Parade, home to the most affluent residents, scored the lowest - 37.4%. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/17-02-12-metro8b.jpg

In the bustling western and eastern suburbs, where infrastructure and civic amenities are almost splitting at the seams, the turnout was higher - 47% to 51%.

"Despite consistent political focus on urban issues and media coverage, the turnout remained poor. On the face of it, it means people do not feel strongly about change and remain disengaged from corporation-level politics," said B Venkatesh Kumar.

The poor turnout also indicated that the political mobilisation by the opposition -- in this case the Congress-NCP combine -- might not have been up to the mark, he added.

The truant voters feel there is a serious trust deficit about politicians across all hues.

"What is the point of casting my vote, when there will be no change in our city? During the last two elections, I was enthusiastic about the entire process," said Vinaya Shah, 32, a resident of Cuffe Parade.

Many voters however also blamed the Election Commission's mismanagement as one of the reasons contributing to the low turnout.

There were complaints of missing names in electoral rolls, wrong photographs and slow internet servers, pushing many to turn back without exercising their franchise.