Lok Sabha elections 2019: Low turnout a disappointment, says Delhi CEO
Senior election commission officials said the voter turnout was expected to rise marginally and could touch 61% as long queues were reported at more than 100 stations even after 6pm.Updated: May 13, 2019 07:22 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
At least 60.17% electors of the 1.43 crore voters in Delhi cast their votes till 6pm Sunday, according to the figures released by the Election Commission of India. The turnout was, however, nearly five percentage points lower as compared to that of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Senior election commission officials said the voter turnout was expected to rise marginally and could touch 61% as long queues were reported at more than 100 stations even after 6pm.
According to the Election Commission of India, this year’s turnout was the second highest in the capital in 40 years. The highest voter turnout in Lok Sabha polls in the last three decades was in 2014, when more than 65% electors had cast their votes. Before that, it was in 1977 that more than 70% electors had turned up to vote.
The lower turnout, as compared to 2014, however, came as a disappointment for the office of the chief electoral officer of Delhi who had organised an elaborate Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme this year.
“The voter turnout is not as we had expected. In 2014, it was around 65%. This time, it may be around 61% and that is a disappointment. We had invested lot of time, effort and money in SVEEP programmes,” said Ranbir Singh, CEO of Delhi.
Till 6pm, while North East Delhi registered 63.45% voter turnout – the highest in the national capital, New Delhi constituency recorded 56.47% turnout, which was the lowest. The voter turnout on Sunday was 62.69% in the trader-dominated Chandni Chowk constituency; 60.64% in West Delhi; 57.3% in South Delhi; 61.95% in East Delhi and 58.99% in North West Delhi.
Senior poll officials said there could be several reasons behind the low turnout. “One of the reasons could be that this year, the elections coincided with summer vacations. Many might have already left the city on holidays. This year, elections are being held during peak summer. In 2014, elections were held on April 10 when the weather was slightly less hot. Also, elections this time were held on a weekend,” a senior official from the CEO’s office, said.
The poll panel took several first-time initiatives such escorts for senior citizens, pick-up and drop facilities for centenarian voters and voters with disabilities. At least 47 centenarian voters and around 1,500 persons with disabilities availed of this facility.
First Published: May 13, 2019 05:46 IST