Though there were high expectations, the first Assembly elections in India’s youngest State were a disappointment due to low voter turnout in the city. Rallies were carried out, posters got distributed, announcements were made; to make people come out and vote for the party they wish to see as their leaders.

But, on December 7, the picture looked different. The city didn’t step up to the expectation as it recorded a meagre 48.89 per cent voter turnout at the Telangana Assembly elections, a further drop from 2014.

Moreover, many had to leave without being able to vote as they found their names missing from the voters list, including eminent personalities like Jwala Gutta, DGP and chairman of Road Safety Authority, Hyderabad, T Krishna Prasad.

Taking to social media platforms, many complained about the depressed voting percentage and questioned the lakhs of Hyderabadis who thronged IKEA on its first day, who wait in queues before liquor shops everyday but failed to turn up to vote on this single day. While enthusiasm was witnessed among voters in rural areas, many polling booths in the capital wore a deserted look. This was the first Assembly election in India’s youngest State but the city continued to represent an untapped opportunity.

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Before the scheduled results that will be made known on December 11, we ask Hyderabadis about the blunder made by ECI and the apathy towards the vote from educated ones.

Mohd Zubair Ali, a food blogger says,democracy It is alarming to see the numbers dipping drastically every election. And, it is more saddening to see the educated citizens not casting their vote. Democracy is, indeed, being taken for granted and voting system being manipulated. There were people whose names were not mentioned in the voting list even though they had valid Adhaar and voter ID cards. Lacking motivation or interest should not be the reason for not electing your government for future betterment’.

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Krishna Theja, a government official says, ‘democracy ECI is to be blamed; but, what about the ones who were registered but didn’t exercise their power? I saw old men and women turning up and casting their vote but youngsters were fewer in number. We count political parties’ achievements to blame them, so by not voting, what are we achieving?’

Pranita Jonnalagedda, a freelance writer says, ‘democracy Many of us voted but we feel helpless because somewhere we realise that our vote may make no difference. When this kind of a sentiment becomes the common attitude where people decide not to vote because it doesn’t matter, we are losing out on lakhs or even crores of votes that can make a massive difference when put together’.

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Mohammed Ahmed, an MBA student says ‘democracy It is really sad to see the educated class has refrained from voting. The polling day was, instead, used as a weekend getaway. The urban class is often called futuristic but the low voter turnout in Hyderabad region has proved that half of the voters are irresponsible. People have been blaming the ECI for deletion of their names but, it is their responsibility to check their names in list beforehand. It is our right and duty’. #KhabarLive

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