K’taka Polls: Apathy of Bangalore voters

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Vidhan Soudha
Bangalore, April 15: Why Bangalore voters don't vote during elections? The question is once again haunting political parties and NGOs as Karnataka is all set to vote for assembly elections 2013 on May 5.

Will Bangalore voters vote or not? Previous statistics show sad reality of apathy of Bangalore voters during elections.

During the 2008 assembly elections, Bangalore areas register only 44 percent voting.

Similarly, India's tech hub recorded a low of 47 percent during the last General Elections during 2009.

In spite of several campaigns urging voters to vote, nothing worked in the past.

Political analysts taking a "negative" view on the entire phenomenon of Bangalore voters not exercising their rights say, "It seems nobody can goad reluctant and apathetic Bangaloreans to come out from their houses to vote"

There were 5.9 million eligible voters in three parliamentary constituencies of Bangalore - South, Central and North in 2009. The overall vote percent in Karnataka was 51.

The voting figures came as a shock to the people involved in awareness campaigns asking people to vote.

"The figures are disappointing. We were hoping that the voting percentage in Bangalore would increase. But that didn't happen," Harish Narasappa, a member of smartvote.in., after the voting was over in 2009.

Janaagraha, a Bangalore based NGO involved in campaign to vote, said all efforts were lost.

"We've tried our best to persuade people to vote in Bangalore. But, unfortunately people did not respond. But, we'll continue our campaign till the next elections," said a Janaagraha official.

This time also several awareness programmes have been started by NGOs to encourage people to vote.

As Political parties are busy finalising the list of candidates for the Assembly elections , voting rights activists too are busy organising campaigns to urge people to exercise their franchise.

A few NGOs, which have been fighting for electoral reforms and conducting voter education drives, stepped up voting rights awareness campaigns soon after the Election Commission announced the election dates.

Anti-corruption crusader S.R. Hiremath, who is founder-president of the National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR), launched a campaign urging people to cast their votes and vote responsibly at Male Mahadeshwara Betta (M.M. Hills), about 80 km from Mysore city, a few days ago.

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