Disgrace to democracy

Disgrace to democracy
Highlights

Disgrace to democracy. On Monday, officials on election duty in the city cast their votes through postal ballots. Cyberabad Police Commissioner CV Anand took the initiative and arranged for postal ballot for all the officials who would be on duty on April 30.

On Monday, officials on election duty in the city cast their votes through postal ballots. Cyberabad Police Commissioner CV Anand took the initiative and arranged for postal ballot for all the officials who would be on duty on April 30. As instructed by the Commissioner, polling centees were set up in Mestri Nagar, Ibrahimpatnam, Kukatpally, Medchal, Neredmet, Chaitanyapuri, Saroornagar, Rajendranagar and a few other places by the revenue staff on Monday. About 5,000 officials exercised their right to vote.

The 100 per cent postal ballot turnout, however, doesn’t reflect the prevailing zeitgeist across the country. While busy officials are overwhelmed for being provided an opportunity to exercise their right, a majority of voters who are given a paid holiday to vote, seem to be relaxing in deep slumber. This can be reflected in the way Bengaluru voted on April 17. Hailed as India’s Silicon Valley, the city recently posted only 54 per cent voter turnout, a disgrace to the spirit of democracy.
Hyderabad also has nothing to boast of. This is evident from the figures of the voter turnout in the previous polls. Only 52.46 per cent voter turnout was registered in Hyderabad in 2009 while just 48 per cent cast their votes in 2004.
With voters not turning up, candidates are emerging victorious with the narrowest of margins.
In 2009 in Nampally Assembly constituency, out of 2.42 lakh voters, only 88,476 voters exercised their franchise. Virasat Rasool Khan of MIM who secured 34,427 votes emerged victorious. Feroz Khan of the Congress lost by a wafer-thin margin of 6,808 votes.
Out of 1.92 lakh voters in Sanathnagar, Sasidhar Reddy won by just securing 37,994 votes. The runner up TRS candidate T Padma Rao secured 26,669 votes.
It was a cakewalk for Ahmed Balala who just attained 30,839 votes to win the Malakpet seat. TDP candidate Muzzafar Ali Khan secured the second highest number of votes secured 22,468 votes. The total voters in the constituency were 1.39 lakh.
The plight of the election scenario is so pathetic that there were only two candidates in the entire city who won after securing more than 50 per cent votes in 2009. In Bahadurpura, MIM’s Mauzzam Khan secured 70.8 per cent of total votes while Ahmed Khan in Yakutpura secured 53.82 per cent of the total votes polled.
There are numerous instances where a meagre margin of votes changed a candidate’s fate in the city.
In 1994 in Himayatnagar, a TDP candidate won by a margin of 67 votes over a BJP candidate.
In 2009 local body elections in Adikmet, the TDP candidate emerged victorious by a margin of 11 votes.
Will Hyderabad take inspiration from election officials and come out in large numbers and vote or would it take the stick from election observers for a poor turnout just as in the case of Bengaluru?
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