Elections 2019: Did Gujaratis raise Mumbai's voting percentage?

Updated: May 01, 2019, 07:06 IST | Chetna Yerunkar and Ranjeet Jadhav

Analysis of V-Day shows the Gujarati community voted in large numbers in Borivli, Ghatkopar and Mulund

Elections 2019: Did Gujaratis raise Mumbai's voting percentage?
In Borivli alone, 66.19 per cent of the voters came out to vote. Representational Image

While 55.29 per cent of the city's total voting population voted on Monday, a steep rise was observed in the turnout in Gujarati-dominated areas of Borivli, Ghatkopar and Mulund. In Borivli alone, 66.19 per cent of the voters came out to vote. Meanwhile, numbers dropped in Marathi-dominated areas of Worli, Sewri and Mahim.

An uptick was observed in the voting trends in areas dominated by the Gujarati-speaking population. At Ghatkopar east, the turnout was 61.27 per cent, whereas Mulund and Dahisar registered 63.66 per cent and 62.39 per cent respectively. Borivli saw a rise of 9 per cent compared to 2014, with 66.19 per cent of the eligible voters in the area coming to exercise their franchise.

The cause of this turnout will be clear only once the results are out, according to political experts. Representational Image/PTI
The cause of this turnout will be clear only once the results are out, according to political experts. Representational Image/PTI

Dip in numbers

On the other hand, in areas dominated by the Marathi-speaking population, such as the traditional belt of Worli, Sewri and Mahim, voters remained absent. All three have seen a gradual dip in numbers compared to 2014. Bhandup was the only such area which saw an increase in the turnout by 4 per cent at 58.99 per cent. One of the city's plushest areas, Colaba, also saw a dip in voter numbers, with a turnout of 45.16 per cent.

Analysts say

However, the cause of this turnout will be clear only once the results are out, according to political expert Aruna Pendse. She said, "Things will be clear only when the election results are out as one cannot be sure about the political affiliations of the voters and what could be the reason for such a high voter turnout. There are a lot of factors involved in this process. For example, a community leader may have taken a decision and asked the community to vote for a specific party, or a group of citizens could have decided to come in large numbers to vote for or against a particular party."

A Gujarati community leader from Borivli, not willing to be named, said, "We had come in large numbers as we wanted to give an answer all those who criticized our Prime Minister, and to silence leaders like Raj Thackeray. We wanted to ensure the PM wins."

Meanwhile, political analyst Abhay Deshpande claimed, "Even as the percentage seems to be on rise, if you look at the voting figures, it has mainly been the same as the voters' list was updated. Since there was no specific wave of any party in Mumbai, the voting figures of 2014 have almost been repeated, which will give advantage to the BJP-Shiv Sena combine in the city at least. The Gujarati-speaking areas with such a high turnout will eventually help the existing government. However, the dip in percentage in the Marathi-speaking belt is mainly because of the updating of the voters' list, where the population has shifted from those areas for various reasons."

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