Haryana: ‘Heat, disinterest caused low turnout’ : The Tribune India

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Haryana: ‘Heat, disinterest caused low turnout’

Haryana: ‘Heat, disinterest caused low turnout’

A volunteer aids an elderly woman voter at a polling station in Haryana. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Sunit Dhawan

Rohtak, May 27

While a debate goes on over the possible reasons and indications of the low voter turnout during the Lok Sabha elections in the state, political experts maintain that it is not of much significance.

Political leaders as well as observers point out that low turnout may be attributed to the intense heatwave sweeping the region, coupled with the voters’ tendency to stay in their comfort zone, especially in the urban areas.

“Not just the urban voters, but also a majority of the village residents who have shifted to cities are reluctant to travel to their villages to cast their votes, more so in the sweltering weather,” observes Dr Ranbir Kadiyan, a political analyst.

He states that a considerable number of voters do not go out to cast their votes, thinking that their votes would not cause much of a difference to the poll results.

“Nonetheless, the low turnout in Karnal, Gurugram and Faridabad may be alarming for the BJP, which was being considered in a strong position in these constituencies,” observes Kadiyan.

Asked about the particularly low turnout in certain Assembly segments, the political pundit stated that it might be indicative of groupism and infighting, which applies to the Congress as well as the BJP.

While some other political experts feel otherwise.” The low turnout in specific Assembly constituencies should not be attributed to factionalism. If a leader wants to defeat his political rival within the party, he will ask his supporters to cast their votes in favour of some other party’s candidate rather than telling them to refrain from voting,” observes Dr Rajendra Sharma, a professor of political science at Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak. The political scientist asserts that no study has indicated a definite link between the voter turnout and pro or anti-incumbency, adding that the low turnout of voters may be due to their general disenchantment with politics, especially in the urban belts.

“The voters of the urban areas — take for example New Delhi — may be keen to grab political positions or power, but they do not show much interest or enthusiasm in stepping out of their homes to cast their vote. The same applies to the urban voters of Haryana, including the residents of the national capital region (NCR) and other metro cities,” says Dr Sharma.

Endorsing his views, RS Chauhan, a political commentator,said the election was on a Saturday, maintaining that most of the residents of metro cities like Gurugram and Faridabad prefer to go for an outing or take rest whenever they get an extended weekend.

“The senior officials, high-end corporate professionals and businessmen consider it below their dignity to stand in queues with common people,” he observes.

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