Polling in Gurgaon was full of surprises on Thursday. Many stepped out for the first time ever to exercise their franchise.
Among them were a 62-year-old on a wheelchair and a 19-year-old. According to a security guard, it was also the first time in years that a large number of “wealthy people” had turned up to vote, queuing up under the midday sun.
Gurgaon registered a record voter turnout of over 70 per cent, eclipsing the last parliamentary elections with 61 per cent turnout. The turnout at Gurgaon city, Sohna, Pataudi and Badshahpur Assembly constituencies were around 66%, 71%, 71% and 67%, respectively.
“I think campaigning and advertising by parties have been particularly effective this time,” Naina Das, a resident of Sushant Lok, said. “But more than that, everybody is just fed up with corruption, rising cost of living and infrastructural issues in Gurgaon. If nothing else, I would like to see the Congress ousted,” she said.
Many were disappointed when they found their names missing from the electoral rolls. “I agree there are chances of errors, but voters should have checked the voters’ list earlier,” R S Sangwan, DPRO (Gurgaon), said.
Several voters were heard holding animated discussion about the BJP. But when the conversation turned to its candidate Rao Inderjit Singh, the enthusiasm died. “I don’t really know him and I don’t really care. I voted for Modi,” a voter said.
AAP found supporters among the youth. “I am a little disappointed with what Arvind Kejriwal did in Delhi, but this is their first time in politics. They are trying to do good for the people. I think they deserve a chance,” Vinod, an auto-rickshaw driver, said.
INLD candidate Zakir Hussain found support among the Muslims in Mewat. “We have never seen Rao Inderjit Singh. And we cannot vote for Yogendra Yadav after what Kejriwal did in Delhi. Muslims in Mewat have will vote for Zakir Hussain,” a shopkeeper in Punhana village said.