Will voter turnout rise in Mysuru’s urban constituencies this year?

Apr 17, 2018

MYSURU: As they aim to ensure 75% voter turnout across the district, the uninspiring figures for the three urban constituencies in Mysuru – Narasimharaja, Chamaraja and Krishnaraja – in the last assembly remains a source of worry for election officials. In 2013, the voter turnout in all the three constituencies was under 60, while it was significantly higher in the remaining eight rural segments.]
Chamaraja segment, which boasts the highest number of educated voters, registered a voter turnout of 55.39%, while in Narasimharaja, where the Muslim population is sizeable, it was just 54.7%. The corresponding figure for Krishnaraja constituency was 59.08%. The turnout in segments such as Periyapatna (83.89%), T Narasipura (75.21%), Chamundeshwari (73.9%), Nanjangud (76.18%), Heggadadevana (HD) Kote (77.25%) and Hunsur (79.3%) set the figures of the three urban constituencies in stark relief.

A professor in the city lamented that even several teachers, including those of higher education institutions, did not turn up to vote in both assembly and Parliamentary elections. “Although the Election Commission ensures that the polling day falls on weekends for the benefit of the public, and to increase polling percentage, the educated classes including those in the IT sector fail to vote,” he said.

Professor of political science Muzaffar Assadi said that this was the case in most urban constituencies. “A section of voters are indifferent to the democratic system and setup. Urban voters are of the opinion that politicians do nothing for the society, and don’t see the point in voting,” Assadi said.

Mysuru deputy commissioner KB Sivakumar, who is also the district election officer, told TOI, “We are creating a lot of awareness under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) initiative. We have put up boards, and are conducting rallies and programmes to educate the public about the importance of voting. Once the nomination process is complete, we will intensify the drive to improve polling percentage in urban constituencies.”