Hyderabad city has a history of dismal voter turnouts

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Hyderabad city has a history of dismal voter turnouts

In the Lok Sabha polls of 2019, Hyderabad city recorded a dismal voter turnout, with the Hyderabad constituency recording just 44.75% at the end of polling. Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Malkajgiri and two Assembly segments (Rajendranagar and Serilingampally) under Chevella Lok Sabha constituency cover Hyderabad and its suburbs and has seen a steady decline in the percentage of votes polled in each parliamentary election.

Malkajgiri is India’s largest parliamentary constituency with regard to the number of voters. Serilingampally is Telangana’s richest Assembly segment and is where all the IT giants including Google, Deloitte, Oracle and Infosys, are located.

As voting ended on Thursday, Hyderabad recorded 44.75% voting, Secunderabad 46.26%, Malkajgiri 49.40% and Chevella, 53.22%.

During the 2014 polls, Hyderabad had recorded 53.3% polling, Secunderabad recorded 53.0%, Malkajgiri recorded 50.9% and Rajendranagar and Serilingampally, the Assembly segments under Chevella, had recorded 59.25% and 47.62% respectively.

Read: The importance of Serlingampally, one of Telangana's richest constituencies

Both Malkajgiri and Chevella parliamentary constituencies came into being in 2009, following the delimitation of constituencies in 2008. In 2009, Malkajgiri recorded 51.5%, Hyderabad recorded 52.49% and Secunderabad recorded 54.93%. In the 2004 polls, Hyderabad had recorded 55.7% and Secunderabad recorded 52.6%.

Hyderabad and Secunderabad parliamentary constituencies have both hovered near 50-percent mark since 2004, but recorded their worst voter turnouts in this millennium in the 2019 polls.

According to the Hindu, Secunderabad’s polling figures on Thursday were the lowest since 1971. One polling booth in the constituency also reportedly saw only 65 voters in the first three hours, where 1,138 electors were eligible to vote.

Ahead of polling day, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s son and MLA KT Rama Rao had taken a dig at voters while campaigning for the parties’ candidates over low voter turnouts.

During an interaction with IT employees in Hyderabad, KTR was pressed for another question and he had quipped that he had to leave and address those who actually turn up to vote, stating that the “IT crowd” has consistently performed badly when it comes to turning up to the voting booth. “That’s a dig… I’m saying you guys don’t vote,” KTR confirmed. “Please show up. Prove me wrong. Please show up and vote and make sure that I’m proven wrong,” he had then said.  

Secunderabad and Hyderabad have a pattern of a low voter turnout, something that can be seen in the Assembly elections as well. In the 2018 Assembly elections, Hyderabad polled a dismal 48.89%, compared to 53% in 2014 and 58% in 2009, which was the lowest ever since elections were held in 1949, after the rule of the Nizam ended.

 

Read: Why urban Telangana, especially Hyderabad, saw poor voter turnout