Upscale neighbourhoods of South Delhi saw the lowest voter turnout in Sunday’s municipal polls, while rural pockets and parts of Northeast Delhi saw the highest polling percentages, data shared by the Delhi State Election Commission shows.
The city reported a turnout of around 50%, lower than that in 2017 and 2012 (around 54%).
The lowest voter turnout was seen in Andrews Ganj ward, where only 33.74% of the eligible voters came out to vote. This was followed by the Hauz Khas ward, where only 38.72% turned up. Areas such as Green Park, Greater Kailash, Munirka, Lado Sarai and Dwarka also saw a turnout of less than 40%. Turnouts in areas such as Greater Kailash, Vasant Vihar and Hauz Khas have remained below the 50% mark in both 2012 and 2017 municipal polls.
It was in several wards in Northeast Delhi, where riots took place in 2020, days after the Assembly polls, where turnout was high. While Brijpuri saw a turnout of 62.95%, it was 61.91% in Chauhan Banger. Areas such as Seelampur, Mustafabad and Kardampuri also saw the turnout crossing the 60% mark.
Chauhan Banger had elected a Congress councillor in the bypolls held in 2021.
As is usual, rural pockets saw high turnouts, with Northwest Delhi’s Bakhtawarpur recording the highest at 65.72%. The rural pocket of Bhati in South Delhi saw a turnout of 62.49%.
In the Nangal Thakran ward in Bawana, where voters from three polling stations boycotted the civic polls, alleging broken promises and no development work taking place, the overall turnout was relatively high at 59.28%.
The State Election Commission had held several voter outreach programmes ahead of the polls, but officials said municipal polls failed to push many voters to come out.
“Urban apathy is the word for this trend. Even in Gujarat, where the Assembly polls were held, people did not come out in large numbers to vote. MCD elections are low profile and many people ignored the pleas to vote. Till noon, the turnout was healthy and we expected the vote percentage to be between 55% and 60% but it slowed down in the evening,” said a senior official from SEC.
“This is a continuing trend. Turnout in upper-class neighbourhoods is low and that in low-class neighbourhoods is higher. The exit polls give an idea about the way the results are going, but the result does not have any connection with the low turnout… Drawing a direct conclusion based on turnout is not desirable because we see no connection between the result and the turnout,” said political analyst and director, Lokniti CSDS, Sanjay Kumar.