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Oct 13, 2009 at 11:21pm IST

Mumbai squanders chance, few line up to vote

Mumbai: The Assembly polls in Maharashtra seem to reflect that an average Mumbaikar still does not care about who gets elected as the representative.

For the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year, the vote per cent was just 41 per cent. This was the second chance for Mumbaikars to show that they demand change.

Yet again, Mumbai squandered the chance.

Mumbai’s who’s who though lined up at the voting booths.

Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Ambani, Javed Akhtar and Bollywood heartthrob Priyanka Chopra turned up to vote.

But the average Mumbaikar treated it as a paid holiday instead of utilizing a few minutes from it for casting their vote as was intended by the state government while declaring the holiday.

“It is disappointing to see that in Mumbai, a city which has people from all parts of the country, people don't come out and vote,” said Deepak Parekh.

Actor Shabana Azmi said, "We cannot stand outside the system and complain. We cannot be passive recipients.”

Reports said that the Activity High School on Peddar Road in south Mumbai wore a deserted look for most of the day except for the odd celebrity or only a trickle of voters. South Mumbai, like the rest of the city, lived up to its traditional role of not finding the time or the will to vote.

At five, when voting ended, the voter turnout was 52 per cent only marginally higher than last times figure of 47 per cent.

The reasons given varied and were all interesting.

  • Politicians are not inspiring, so why should we vote?
  • There is total apathy among the politicians and the people.
  • I think people are just indifferent to the elections.
  • There is still time. Maybe by 5 O' Clock the numbers will go up.

That proved to be misplaced optimism as the numbers stayed down.