Friday, February 02, 2007

The day after

A few news articles worthy of mention today, the day after the BMC elections.

First up - three housing societies in Goregaon had a voter turnout of 90%, or 6,000 people. Mumbai's average ? 45%. Shabbash Mumbaikars. Chaan kaam kela.

Get that once again - three housing societies, 6,000 people. 90% turnout.

The secret ? jalebi, gathiya, chola bhature, khandvi-dhokla. Aao maaro saathe jamvaana.

No - that's not what the political parties bribed these 6,000 people to come out and vote for them. From today's Mumbai Mirror front page article -

The residents of Neelkanth Valley went a step further. Not only did they ensure that every voter from their society cast his/her vote, they had a party too. Caterers were hired to serve elaborate meals at the society’s plush club. Chola bhatura, uttappam, khandvi-dhokla, misal pav among several other delicacies were used to bait voters. “Everybody is on a holiday mode on polling days. Many take the day off from work. This time we collectively decided that we would turn this into a celebration to garner maximum turnout,” said Rajesh Shah, secretary, Neelkanth Valley Federation.[>>]

Meanwhile, down South in our city, the areas of Colaba, Walkeshwar, Malabar Hill and Cuffe Parade recorded a turnout of (estimated) 30%. Here's what one resident has to say (from an article in the Indian Express today)
Shirley Gupta, who lives near Banganga, said she refused to vote since she thinks there is ‘’unequal representation’’ of candidates as far as plush areas are concerned. “There needs to be a candidate who understands the problems of this society and identifies with the electorate,” she said. Pointing out how Little Gibbs Road was placed in the same ward as August Kranti Maidan, she said: “These are different areas with different problems, and none can identify with the other,” she added.[>>]

Oh ok, so its not all that bad in South and Central Mumbai. As DNA reports today
During the last civic election, according to analysts, about 12 per cent of Colaba and Cuffe Parade managed to get out of their homes to vote. This year, the figure crossed 25 per cent. Abysmal, but better. However, the low percentage this year, apart from apathy, could also omission of names from official voting lists and problems associated with delimitation.[>>]

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