Why nearly 50 per cent of Bengaluru people stay away from voting, experts discuss | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Why nearly 50 per cent of Bengaluru people stay away from voting, experts discuss

PTI | | Posted by Yamini C S
May 04, 2024 08:27 AM IST

The session was moderated by Revathy Ashok, managing trustee of Bangalore Political Action Committee (B.Pac).

While voter apathy is real, the reason why Bengaluru has been consistently registering a voter turnout of little over 50 per cent between 2014 and 2024 requires nuanced understanding, said experts participating in a virtual panel discussion organised by Bangalore Political Action Committee on Friday.

Experts participated in a virtual panel discussion organised by Bangalore Political Action Committee on Friday. (REPRESENTATIVE PIC)
Experts participated in a virtual panel discussion organised by Bangalore Political Action Committee on Friday. (REPRESENTATIVE PIC)

The session was attended by Sandeep Shastri, national coordinator of Lokniti Network, Sudheendra M G, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson and Block Congress president, Kaveri Kedarnath, BJP leader and former mandal president, Malleswaram and Vikram Rai, president of Bangalore Apartment Federation (BAF). The session was moderated by Revathy Ashok, managing trustee of Bangalore Political Action Committee (B.Pac).

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

READ | JD(S) leader Revanna files anticipatory bail plea in sexual harassment case

Citing anecdotal experiences, BAF's Rai said parties not announcing candidates till the end is one of the biggest hurdles that BAF faced when trying to breach through voter apathy.

According to him, voters need to be vested in the politics of the place for them to see the change that affects them, day to day.

"But if the representatives are going to be announced so late in the day, there's no way to engage with them in a meaningful way," observed Rai.

READ | Polls for six MLC posts in Karnataka to take place on June 3

Meanwhile, Shastri quoting data sets from the extensive studies done by his organisation Lokniti about the voting pattern, said it's crucial to enthuse the younger generation particularly about electoral politics.

"Through Lokniti’s studies, I can come to a conclusion that the younger generation is plugged into politics, but not into electoral politics. One way of engaging them is, if parties were to address some of the issues they feel are important for them. I feel there needs to be a little more effort on the part of the political parties to be able to create a right image among these younger voters," added Shastri.

Kedarnath talked about the realities on the ground when it comes to maintaining accurate voter lists.

"For instance, often anganwadi workers double as voter list checkers. Because it is one of the jobs that they are forced to do, there is no real dedication when it comes to deletion and addition of voters in the list, resulting in grave errors," said Kedarnath.

READ | Former Bengaluru police chief Bhaskar Rao injured in major road accident, SUV topples 3 times

Drawing from his experience as booth level coordinator as the block president of Mahalakshmi Layout, Sudheendhra said a multifaceted approach involving education, transparency, accurate voter lists and targeted outreach can help combat voter apathy.

"Also, the Election Commission should engage booth-level workers from different parties properly, maybe they can be used instead of the overburdened Asha workers," Sudheendhra added.

At the end of the discussion, B.PAC’s Ashok read out questions by the 50-odd participants for the virtual discussion, most of which sought solutions for practical difficulties of voters – like multiple voter IDs, missing names, family members allotted different booths, etc.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Stay updated with all the Breaking News and Latest News from Bengaluru. Click here for comprehensive coverage of top cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and more across India . Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On