Poll panel flags urban apathy ahead of Karnataka elections: ‘cause of concern’

Mar 29, 2023 12:25 PM IST

Karnataka assembly election 2023: The state will go to poll on May 10 and the counting of vote will be held on May 13.

Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday raised concerns over the urban apathy towards voting ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections 2023. Addressing a press conference to announce the schedule of general election to Karnataka assembly due in May, chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar said urban apathy is a cause of concern as he highlighted that lowest voter turnout was recorded in Bengaluru area – BBMP (South), BBMP (North), BBMP (Central), Bangalore Urban – in 2013 and 2018 state elections. (Also Read | Karnataka assembly election voting on May 10, counting on May 13)

Chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar addresses a press conference in New Delhi.
Chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar addresses a press conference in New Delhi.

“Urban Apathy is a cause of concern. These four districts in India’s IT Hub had the lowest voter turnout in 2013 and 2018 Karnataka Assembly Elections, much less than the state average,” Kumar said, adding that 88% of polling stations in these four districts are in urban areas.

Highlighting the trend, the top election official also pointed to the low voter turnout in urban areas in 2019 general elections and recently in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections. He underscored the need for focussed interventions to create awareness through electotal literacy clubs in schools and colleges, and voter awareness forums in organizations and resident welfare associations (RWAs).

To encourage greater participation of voters, Kumar said, the voting has been scheduled on Wednesday, and not on Monday or Friday as many use it for their extended weekend holiday.

(Also Read | Karnataka assembly elections: Vote from home to be available for people above 80)

Assembly elections in Karnataka will be held on May 10 and the results will be declared on May 13. Kumar said the notification for the elections to the 224-member assembly will be issued on April 13 and the last date for filing nomination papers will be April 20. He said the nomination papers will be scrutinised on April 21 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations will be April 24.

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