Subscription Subscription
Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > India General Elections 2024 Blistering heat long queues bedevil city voters

India General Elections 2024: Blistering heat, long queues bedevil city voters

Updated on: 21 May,2024 06:55 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team mid-day |

Delays due to names missing from voter list play spoilsport on polling day

India General Elections 2024: Blistering heat, long queues bedevil city voters

Voters queue up at the polling station at Cumballa Hill High School on Monday

While the overall pace of voting on Monday was somewhat glacial, the wide range of citizens who bothered to show up at polling booths across the city to exercise their franchise told mid-day they were voting for change. Affordable educational institutions and employment opportunities for homemakers were some of the desires of those who cast their votes.

Mumbai South

When it comes to voting, the residents of tony south Mumbai always lag behind their counterparts in the rest of the city. On Monday, when long queues could be seen at almost every polling station in the city, those in Colaba, Nariman Point and Cuff Parade wore a relatively bare look while Malabar Hill saw a modest turnout. It was another story with Tardeo, Dongri and Badhwar Park in Colaba.

Polling stations at Dongri, Nal Bazaar—congested areas of South Mumbai—were flooded with voters, but these centres didn’t witness the kind of chaos seen in other parts of the city.

Rifta Patel, 84, who came to Tardeo RTO to vote; Madhuri Thakur, who had come to Sandhurst Road from Vashi to exercise her franchiseRifta Patel, 84, who came to Tardeo RTO to vote; Madhuri Thakur, who had come to Sandhurst Road from Vashi to exercise her franchise

At a polling station in a Dongri public school, some voters took almost an hour to cast their votes.  Madhuri Thakur, who had come to Sandhurst Road from Vashi to exercise her franchise, told mid-day that it took her more than an hour to complete the procedure. As her home is in Dongri, she and her husband visit the island city every election.

Junaid Mistry who had come to Dongri with his family to vote, said it didn’t take more than 15 minutes and as they already knew about the mobile ban, they didn’t bring any gadgets.

The polling stations at the Tardeo RTO, situated in the midst of a sizeable slum population, Badhwar Park in Colaba where the fishing community is in the majority, witnessed a fair amount of crowding.  

In light of the heat and humidity, many opted to vote early in the morning.

A police constable on the RTO premises said the queues had been there since polling began and people were coming out in good numbers. Rifta Patel, 84, came with her son to cast her vote. Talking about her experience, she praised the police and Election Commission workers. “It feels good when we vote. The police were taking care of everyone well and with smiling faces,” said Patel.

Raju Pardeshi, a Malabar Hill resident, said, compared to earlier, the numbers are higher. This may be due to visits from politicians and rallies in this area.

South Central

Voters had to endure the summer heat at a few polling centres in this constituency, where Mahayuti candidate Rahul Shewale is up against Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Anil Desai, as the voting process unfolded at a slow pace. Many citizens said pandals should have been set up more at locations where the voters had to stand in queues. As some names were missing from polling lists, chaos was also seen in a few places.

The six Assembly segments that fall under this Lok Sabha constituency are Sion Koliwada, Dharavi, Wadala, Anushakti Nagar, Chembur and Mahim.

Dharavi resident Vinod Manoj Nikam, who had come to the polling station set up at the District Sport Club, was upset about the fact that his name was on the voting list but his wife’s wasn’t. “My name is in the list but my wife’s name is missing. Last time, we voted together but now only I was able to do so. We hope this problem isn’t repeated during the upcoming elections,” he said.

North Central

The Mumbai North Central Lok Sabha constituency is seeing a fight between Mahayuti candidate Ujjwal Nikam and Varsha Gaikwad of the Congress. BJP leader Mahesh Parker told mid-day that at many places in the seat, voters had to stand in long queues as the voting process was slow.

“In ward 94, at booth nos 95 and 93 in Khar East, the people had to stand in long lines to cast their votes. The situation was similar in some places in Santacruz. Some voters even complained that despite voting for so many years, their names were missing from the voter list. I think some ECI officials who were assigned this duty were not properly trained, which resulted in the delay in the voting process and people having to stand in lines.”

As per the Election Commission’s instructions, voters who were standing in the queue were allowed to vote beyond 6 pm. Polling stations continued functioning until all the voters standing in the queue by this time were done voting.

North East

Voters in Shivaji Nagar were concerned about whether their votes would count due to issues with EVMs. At one polling booth, the machine would not make a beeping sound, while at another, the machine went off for an hour or so.

At polling booth no. 63, PRO Suhas Rane told mid-day that the machine went off between 11 am and 12.30 pm. “There was some technical issue and it was fixed at the earliest,” he said. However, by 1.30 pm, this booth had registered approximately 176 votes, while booth no. 62, which was right next to it, had registered 319 votes.

In all, the constituency, which, apart from Mankhurd Shivaji Nagar, includes Bhandup West, Ghatkopar East, Ghatkopar West, Mulund, and Vikhroli Assembly seats, had a turnout of 39.15 per cent by 3 pm. Shivaji Nagar recorded the lowest turnout at 33.50 per cent, while the highest was recorded in Mulund with a 45.8 per cent turnout.

The battle in this constituency is between BJP’s Mihir Kotecha and Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Sanjay Dina Patil. This is Patil’s fourth parliamentary election from the same constituency. He was sent to Parliament in 2009 on an NCP ticket but has faced defeats in 2014 and 2019. BJP has fielded Kotecha instead of incumbent MP Manoj Kotak.

What voters want

Kushnoor Bano, 32, Shivaji Nagar resident
“There are a lot of issues here. People live in terrible conditions and they want a better life but there is very little support.” Bano is a homemaker and said the perception about those like her is that they do not want to work. “We want to participate and bring home money to support our families. I want the next government to come up with a scheme where homemakers can also do some jobs.”

Aslam Sheikh, 40,differently-abled  voter

Aslam Sheikh, 40,differently-abled  voter
“Whatever the government comes next needs to think of making the lives of those like me a little easier in whatever way they can.”

In Ghatkopar
A number of senior citizens had come out to vote in Ghatkopar East and West despite the provision to cast their vote online

Hasmukh Parekh, 80, and his wife Meena, 75, 

Hasmukh Parekh, 80, and his wife Meena, 75, 
“What is the fun in casting votes online? Here we can come and look around.  We want a stable and strong government.”

Ashok Tupekar, 31, A polio patient

Ashok Tupekar, 31, A polio patient
 “I do not have any expectations from the next government except for one: I want a better automatic cycle with four wheels. The one I use now pains my hands.”

Harsha Nakrani, 46, Ghatkopar resident

Harsha Nakrani, 46, Ghatkopar resident
“My primary issue here is sanitation. Whatever candidate comes here needs to make proper waste disposal a priority, especially in the rains.”

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK