Is long weekend to blame for low turnout in Hyderabad?
The Election Commission of India (ECI) made several efforts to raise awareness among first-time voters and urban voters
HYDERABAD: The much-anticipated Telangana State Assembly elections 2023 have concluded, with the final voter turnout across the state standing at 63.94 percent as of 5 p.m.
Despite the fact that Telangana's overall voter turnout was fairly high, urban voters in Hyderabad disappointed with a turnout of only 47.14 percent as of 5 p.m.
Secunderabad Cantonment had the highest voter turnout in Hyderabad, with 47.14 percent, followed by Khairatabad (45.5 percent), Goshamahal (45.79 percent), Sanath Nagar (45.1 percent), and Secunderabad (45.01 percent).
Yakutpura had the lowest voter turnout in Hyderabad, with 27.89 percent, followed by Nampally with 32 percent, Charminar with 34 percent, and Malakpet with 36.9 percent.
The overall turnout for the Telangana Legislative Assembly election in Hyderabad in 2018 was 48.15 percent. This was significantly lower than the 73.7 percent State average.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) made several efforts to raise awareness among first-time voters and urban voters, but it appears that despite the ECI's efforts, urban voters failed to exercise their voting rights. The government declared a holiday on the occasion of the elections, and workplaces also provided time off and Work From Home (WFH) so that their employees could vote, but urban voters did not turn out to exercise their franchise, demonstrating irresponsibility.
Several city residents believe that the low urban turnout was due to many of them having a long weekend holiday. Voter turnout in cities would have been much higher if the election had been held on November 29 rather than November 30, 2023, which fell on a Thursday after a three-day weekend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Top celebrities in Hyderabad such as Allu Arjun, Jr NTR, Chiranjeevi Konidela, Mahesh Babu, Ram Charan, Rana Daggubati, and Vijay Deverakonda were the first to vote in their respective constituencies with their families, but the city's other urban voters disappointed big time by failing to exercise their franchise on the big day.
All of the celebrities who were the first voters made sure to post images of their inked fingers on social media encouraging others to vote as well, but once again, urban voters failed to show up to vote, causing huge disappointment to other voters who casted their vote.
Sashidhar Vuppala, a socio political activist from Hyderabad said, "Despite several efforts made by the ECI, organisations stressing the importance of Vote, it is very disappointing to see a poor show in Hyderabad. More than 60 percent not turning out is a clear reflection, lacking responsibility."
Satya Pamula, a resident of Hyderabad, said, "This is a metro phenomenon in which high-earning individuals in metros become more lazy. These people, in my opinion, are anti-nationals who sit on the couch and give gyan on social media but refuse to vote. Many of them try to take advantage of long weekend trips because they are not interested in voting. Their employers should demote or suspend their promotions for the next five years if they do not vote; only then will change occur."