Polling pattern in the state capital surprised not only the presiding officers but also voters. While areas having mixed population recorded long queues much before polling time, posh areas recorded noticeable polling only after 11am. Here's a comparative analysis of both the regions.
Dressed in their best attire and loaded with lots of attitude, residents of posh localities in the state capital preferred to vote after 11am.
Shared Madhu Pant, a resident of Vasant Vihar: "We were not in a hurry to vote. We decided to vote after having breakfast. I think it is the most suitable time for people like us."
Whatever the case, though the polling booths in posh areas witnessed long queues, it was only after 11 am that the literate class preferred reaching the booths. Sunil Kathait, a resident of Indira Nagar, said: "It's a holiday. So there was no point waking up early. I woke up at 10 am and reached the polling booth sharp at 12. I believe everyone of us votes as per our convenience."
Officers on poll duty confirmed that residents of posh localities weren't the early birds to reach the booths. In fact, actual voting in these areas started after 11am.
Narendra Bahadur, presiding officer on polling booth number 32 in Vasant Vihar told Hindustan Times: "Polling wasn't even 15 % in the first two hours. However, it picked up later."
Remarkably, people of these areas carefully chose their outfits to complement the day.
Many had a tough time deciding what to wear and what not. Says Brig Charanjeet Singh, a resident of Defence Colony: "You will not find any army man dressed just like that. We take time in getting ready. Polling day is a special occasion for us when we can decide who would govern us."
Unlike in posh localities, people in areas with mixed population made a beeline to cast their votes at polling booths since early morning. Their enthusiasm to vote was truly remarkable.
Mohammad Yaseen, presiding officer at polling booth in Govind Gadh shared with Hindustan Times: "We were surprised to witness long queues much before the actual time of polling. Voters were too enthusiastic and had assembled in large numbers."
It wasn't the case only at Govoind Gadh. Similar rush was witnessed at several polling booths of Chukhuwal, Brahmanwala, Kargi, GMS Road, Shimla Bypass, Dalanwala and many other places.
Sharing her excitement to vote in the opening seconds, Rajeshwari, a resident of Brahmanwala said: "I am the first one to vote here. I took this decision of casting vote at the earliest so that I can utilise my entire day with my family. I am excited."
Surprisingly, not even cold weather could affect the determination of voters who reached in the first hour of polling. Most of them took advantage of their morning walks and cast their votes wearing track suits and sports shoes. Vijay Anand, a voter of Sewak Ashram Road said, "Though, I go for morning walk a little early, today I decided to leave my place around 7.30am so that I can reach polling booth at 8am. I did both. BC Pant, sector magistrate at polling booth 71 at Kargi Grant said that people thronged at polling booths between 8 and 9 am. After 9 am, the polling percentage dropped a little but later picked up again after noon. "Voters seemed highly enthusiastic this time," Pant added.