Round Up of Municipal Elections in Udaipur - 70 Wards 57.77% Voting

Round Up of Municipal Elections in Udaipur - 70 Wards 57.77% Voting

- 70 Municipal Wards in Udaipur

- 321 Polling Booths

- Results on 19 November

- Lowest Voter Turnout in Udaipur (57.77%)

- State Average Voter Turnout: 70%

Round Up of Municipal Elections in Udaipur - 70 Wards 57.77% Voting

Voters distraught with Udaipur Municipality performance in the last 5 years. City of Lakes witnesses lowest voter turnout in this election

This years Municipal Elections were held under unprecedented tight security and monitoring, though unfortunately the voter turnout was not at all impressive in Udaipur, with a 57.77 percent voter turnout as compared to 70% average across Rajasthan. Udaipur had the lowest voter turnout among districts in Rajasthan.  Poor performance in the City of Lakes following the distraught experience with the last Municipal Board.

49 Local governance bodies across Rajasthan held their elections simultaneously on 16 November. The voter turnout across the state was 71.53% as compared to the 2014 figure of 67.90%.  Udaipur unfortunately witnessed the lowest voter turnout in the state.  This was the lowest voting percentage for Udaipur in the last 25 years, as per reports.

In all 7,942 candidates have contested for the local governance councils and corporations across the state of Rajasthan.  The battle for Udaipur is across 70 wards.  Ballot Boxes in Udaipur had been shifted to the Rajasthan College of Agriculture at Surajpol by 8:30pm on 16 November.  The voting for 70 wards of Udaipur took place from 7:30am and concluded at 5pm across 321 voting centers. The strong room was sealed after the extra backup boxes lying at the various Police stations were shifted to the strong room at 9:30pm.

Post polling analysis is assessing the temperament across the political circle in the city.  With the lowest voter turnout in Udaipur, which is around 7% lower than in 2014, the situation looks dicey for the ruling BP board.  Though BJP is positive that the Board will belong to their party, the presence of Congress and other local parties as well as independent candidates may end up with a different story.

Why such a Low Voter Count

  • Voter unhappy with the outgoing board and no presence of a strong opposition
  • The voter has been subjected to other larger elections in the recent years... Assembly elections, Lok Sabha Elections and now local munipality elections
  • Earlier the BLOs used to distribute slips from home to home.  This time the party workers took it upon themselves to process this task.  They could not do it.
  • No voter awareness campaigns run by the Election Commission in Udaipur
  • Youth showed lesser interest in the Municipal elections, as compared to the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections
  • Last minute announcement of candidates did not allow more time for showcasing agenda or manifesto and lesser interaction time with voters
  • Realignment of Wards led to voter disorientation.  Voters were not able to cast their votes in their regular booths and they were not guided as to the correct booth. In one case, a Voter was asked to get his finger inked, but later the observers realised that the booth is not correct.  The voter was unable to cast his vote.

How the Voter Turnout Happened

On post poll analysis it was understood that the voting percentage, inspite of being the lowest in the last 25 years due to the above reasons, there were instances in some wards where the voter turnout was quite considerable.  Voters in those wards where the candidates were strong, was higher than the average.  Further, the wards where the competitions was directly between two majoer political parties, the voter turnout was the lowest (55%).  The voter turnout was slightly higher at 59.41% where the competing candidates belonged to three groups.  In those wards where the competing candidates were from multiple parties or independent, the voter turnour was the highest at 61.42%.

The stong candidates, it was noticed had campaigned much harder and vociferously and had garnered their supporters in a far better manner than the weaker candidates backed by national level parties.  Community specific campaiging and support was also outwardly visible.

Ward Nos 1, 10, 32 and 65 had five, four, 5 and 4 candidates respectively.  The voter turnout in these wards was 61.49%, 61.31%, 65.57% and 70.87% respectively.  The highest in the Udaipur district.

Local instances of altercations and reduction in voters

It was noted across the polling booths, that the candidates and their party workers were entering into altercations with each other as  well as with the votergs.  This dissuaded voters from going to these polling booths.  Police interevened at many constituencies and pollig booths as party workers clashed with each other.  Objections were raised by the workers when a certain parties candidate used to go with the voters into the polling booth. A certain parties candidate also entered into an altercation with the Police.  Bottles of liquor were found in the vehicle of a party worker, Jagdish Sharma (BJP). He was found distributing liquor and money while asking for votes.

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