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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Maharashtra assembly polls 2019: Mumbai turnout touches 50.67%

On Monday, Mumbai city, which has 10 seats, recorded 48.63% voter turnout; the Mumbai suburban district, which has 26 seats recorded 51.17%.

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 22, 2019 06:41 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
A senior citizen on wheelchair cast vote during Maharashtra assembly election at Municipal School,Kandivali in Mumbai, on Monday, October 21, 2019.
A senior citizen on wheelchair cast vote during Maharashtra assembly election at Municipal School,Kandivali in Mumbai, on Monday, October 21, 2019. (Pramod Thakur/ HT )
         

For the second time in a row, Mumbai managed to breach the 50% threshold in the Assembly election voter turnout as it touched 50.67% on Monday. The turnout was 51.21% in 2014 state polls. The number is, however, lower than city’s Lok Sabha turnout of 55.23% in April, which was better than the 2014 Lok Sabha turnout.

On Monday, Mumbai city, which has 10 seats, recorded 48.63% voter turnout; the Mumbai suburban district, which has 26 seats recorded 51.17%.

The city’s voter turnout in the 2009, 2004, and 1999 assembly polls was 46.1%, 48.4% and 44.9%.

Mumbai that saw enthusiasm and crowd at polling booths at the recent Lok Sabha elections did not see as much enthusiasm on Monday. Many of the seats in Mumbai recorded marginally lower voter turnout than the last assembly elections. The final turnout figures will be released by the election authorities on Tuesday.

Political observers said factors including failure of the opposition to create a narrative, Mumbaiites’ apathy, acceptance of status quo, and a long weekend around festive season could be the reasons for stagnant voter turnout. Across polling stations, not many young voters were seen while elderly voters lined up at the polling centres.

Political commentator Prakash Bal said the election was seen as “one-sided” as no ongoing issues were raised to enthuse the voters. “Voters know the BJP-Shiv Sena government will return to power. The failure is of the Congress-NCP alliance which did not give any alternate narrative. Sharad Pawar focused only on rural parts of the state, while the Congress was non-existent,” he said.

Of the 36 seats in Mumbai, the BJP and Sena held 15 seats and 14 seats, respectively, while the Congress held five seats and the NCP failed to open an account in Mumbai. The remaining two seats were held by Samajwadi Party and AIMIM.

According to Surendra Jondhale, political analyst, the turnout signifies status quo. He said that in 2004 and 2009, the Mumbai voting percentage did not vary much and subsequently, the Congress-NCP government came back to power on the two occasions.

The island city, which has constituencies including Colaba, Malabar Hill, Worli, Mumbadevi, Wadala and Mahim, etc, also saw poor voting percentage.

The Colaba constituency emerged as the lowest performer in Mumbai, recording only 40.20% votes.

Similarly, in 2014, Colaba had recorded 46.20% voter turnout, and in the Lok Sabha elections five months ago, the constituency recorded 45.16% voter turnout.

Sion Koliwada recorded 50.75% turnout, Dharavi recorded 47.79%, Wadala recorded 53.08%, Mahim recorded 53.20%, Worli recorded 50.20%, Mumbadevi recorded 44.71%. Malabar Hill recorded 47.24% voter turnout much less than the 2014 assembly elections turnout at 52.56%, or the Lok Sabha election turnout at 56.08%.

The Versova constituency saw the lowest turnout with 42.66%. In the western suburbs, Bandra west, where sitting MLA and BJP minister Ashish Shelar, is contesting saw a low turnout with 43.76%. Andheri west recorded 43.22%, Goregaon 46.67% saw low turnout compared to 2014 assembly elections. The seats are considered to be BJP and Sena strongholds.

Areas of Vikhroli with 55.54% and Bhandup with 56.93%, which are considered to be Sena stronghold, saw the highest voter turnout. However, Mulund recorded 53.20% and Ghatkopar East saw 50.53% turnouts, which are BJP stronghold saw a lower turnout as compared to 2014 elections.

On ground, the voters from the Gujarati-Marawari business community were seen in lesser numbers in traditional constituencies such as Ghatkopar east, Malabar Hill, Sewri, Worli, etc. In 2014, Ghatkopar east recorded 56.24% turnout in 2014 assembly poll, which has now dropped to 50.53 now.

Malabar Hill in south Mumbai recorded 52.54% in 2014 State elections, recorded 47.24%.

Worli constituency where Shiv Sena scion Aaditya Thackeray is contesting his maiden election saw lower turnout compared to 2014 Assembly polls. In 2014, it recorded 55.75%

“I am not surprised if there is resentment or lack of enthusiasm to go out and out because the small and medium business owners will feel the pinch of the recession,” Jondhale said.