2024 LS polls: Rural voters show gusto, heat gets better of urban ones in Lucknow - Hindustan Times
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2024 LS polls: Rural voters show gusto, heat gets better of urban ones in Lucknow

By, Lucknow
May 20, 2024 10:59 PM IST

Voters in Lucknow faced scorching heat on election day, with urban areas seeing lower turnout compared to rural areas where over 60% had voted by 5pm.

At 6.30am on Monday, an otherwise calm street in Indira Nagar was busy as the people who had come to vote and had to return to other cities started queuing up at a polling booth there even before voting began at 7am. This trend continued till 11 am and by then, 22.11% voters had exercised their franchise. However, rural areas took an edge after 12 noon and despite scorching heat, voter turnout there was more than urban pockets.

Some polling stations were exception to the rising heat and saw massive turnout. (For Representation)
Some polling stations were exception to the rising heat and saw massive turnout. (For Representation)

“I took leave for a day and came to cast my vote. Now I am returning,” said prof Ajai Singh, director, AIIMS Bhopal and a native of Lucknow. As the mercury soared, enthusiasm among voters saw a dip. “I had to leave for a conference. Hence, I decided to vote early and then leave,” said Prof Ashish Kumar, HoD, orthopaedics at KGMU, Lucknow.

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By 9 am, 10.39% constituents in the state capital had got their fingers inked. At this hour, voter turnout was at its peak at Kalicharan PG College in Chowk. While first time voter Sadhika Agrawal came with her father to vote, Nirmal Pandey, 75, a sick person, took a wheelchair to reach the polling booth from the main gate, while those fit to walk also took selfies after voting.

Similarly, there was celebration at Maharaja Bijli Pasi Inter College in Ashiyana where voters enjoyed selfies. At least 70 four-wheelers were parked outside the polling booth at around 12 noon here.

Voter inflow dipped after that at majority of polling stations in urban areas as people avoided stepping out of homes between 12noon and 3 pm due to scorching heat. Maximum temperature during the was recorded at 41.2 degrees Celsius—one degree above normal.

In capital city’s urban assembly segments, 39.58% votes were polled in Lucknow Cantt by 3 pm while in Lucknow Central 41.48%, Lucknow East 42.53% and in Lucknow North 41.71% votes were polled.

In rural pockets, Bakshi Ka Talab (BKT) recorded 53.33% polling by 3 pm while Malihabad 52%, Mohanlalganj 53.27% and Sarojini Nagar recorded 36.65% voting.

Some polling stations were exception to the rising heat and saw massive turnout. One such station was MKSD Inter College in Nishatganj where a long queue of voters was seen at 2 pm. Booth numbers 326 and 328 there had at least 100 voters each waiting to press the EVM button.

At New Mission Boys and Girls Inter College in Sadar area, booth numbers 303, 304 and 305 had just 4 or 5 voters in queue at 1.30 pm. Officials attributed the poor showing to the sweltering summer and a lack of enthusiasm among Lucknow residents.

Meera Yadav, a voter, said, “The scorching heat seemed to deter many from venturing out during the peak afternoon hours.” However between 3 pm and 5 pm, voters again moved towards polling stations. As per the Election Commission’s data at 5pm, three assembly constituencies with majority rural pockets/voters had crossed 60% mark—BKT 63%, Malihabad 61.40% and Mohanlalganj 63.21%. Urban polling stations still lagged behind.

Lucknow Cantt had 47.20% polling, Lucknow Central 50.2%, Lucknow East 50.16%, Lucknow North 49.43% and Lucknow West 52.07% by 5 pm. In the 2022 state assembly polls, BKT had recorded 57.25% voting, Malihabad 61.25% and Mohanlalganj had recorded 56.37% polling by 5 pm.

Lucknow Cantt had recorded 52.98% polling, Lucknow Central 51.12%, Lucknow East 53.04%, Lucknow North 54.80% and Lucknow West 54.50% by 5 pm then.

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