Maharashtra Assembly Polls: Missing names, bad state of roads to blame for poor show in Thane

Updated: Oct 23, 2019, 08:10 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Thane records 47.91 per cent turnout as several voters, tired of bad roads, heavy traffic jams, didn't vote

Voters at Kisan Nagar TMC School in Thane West on Monday. Pic/ Sameer Markande
Voters at Kisan Nagar TMC School in Thane West on Monday. Pic/ Sameer Markande

At nearly 50 per cent, the voter turnout in Thane district this assembly election was poor, said the experts. And one of the reasons, according to the Thane collectors, is missing names on the voters' list. Residents' boycott to vote over poor road conditions and inadequate water facility was another major cause for low turnout.

Only 47.91 per cent of the eligible electorate exercised their rights in the district, while Thane city recorded a turnout of 52.3 per cent. At 40.72 per cent, turnout was lowest in Dombivli, where several residents didn't vote this year. They said their demands for better roads and measures to tackle the poor quality of air in the area were never addressed. We saw no point in voting the same people to power again, they added.

Collectors in Thane partly attributed the low turnout to the concerned officials' inability to add names of several newcomers on voters' list, as they did not get enough time between Lok Sabha election and assembly polls.

Collector Rajesh Naravekar said, "There are several reasons for the poor turnout. But our team has made several attempts to attract voters through advertisement and rap songs to attract youngsters. We even gave good facilities to divyanjan because of which 30 per cent votes were cast by them." Naravekar said migration is also a reason for a dip in voting percentage. "We will work on it and try to improve it next time from our side," he added.

Political analyst Milind Ballal, also an editor of a local daily in Thane, said, "First, holding election on Monday after a holiday was a blunder. Second, no doubt people are frustrated because their daily issues like heavy traffic, poor road and water facility, haven't been resolved. So, instead of wasting their time on voting they remained at home. Besides, technical glitches were reported from some places. However, the main reason remains lack of interest in the voters due to poor infrastructure. The government keeps talking about development but even basic facilities are lacking. People have lost faith in system."

Voter turnout in Mumbra was 49.96 per cent, Airoli 42.51 per cent, Belapur 45.16 per cent, Bhiwandi Rural 59.60 per cent, Bhiwandi West 50.32 per cent, Bhiwandi East 47.81 per cent, Shahapur 64.80 per cent, Kalyan West 41.74 per cent, Murbad 58.36 per cent, Ambernath 42.32 per cent, Ulhasnagar 46.89 per cent, Kalyan East 43.55 per cent, Kalyan Rural 46.37 per cent, Owla majiwada 42.97 per cent and Kopari Pachpakadi 49.09 per cent.

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