And the groom came riding, riding - right till the polling booth (Rajasthan poll snippets)

May 7th, 2009 - 2:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Jaipur, May 7 (IANS) First the polling booth, then the altar. The priority was crystal clear for Ramesh Kumar, who came riding on a horse to vote in a village in Rajasthan’s Udaipur constituency before moving on to get married.
“I have come straight here from my house and will go for my wedding from here. I only want to tell people how important it is to vote,” Ramesh Kumar told TV reporters in his village Bindoli near the lake town of Udaipur.

“He was supposed to get married in the morning but came to the booth first because he wanted to tell people about the importance of voting,” a polling official told IANS over phone.


Sun takes the shine off turnout

The heat is taking a toll on polling, especially in rural areas in this desert state. Contestants are deputing vehicles for bringing voters to polling booths. Even in the capital Jaipur, supporters of the two main parties Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress were forced to request people to come out of their homes to exercise their franchise.

In some places, tents were set up and water provided for voters but the scorching sun was too intimidating. Officials are hoping the turnout would go up once the weather cools down somewhat.


Dressing up for the elections

Elections are festive time here, with some dressing in their best for the trip to the polling booth and others actually buying new clothes for the event.

Like 85-year-old Naimuddin, a resident of the walled city area of this state capital.

“I always buy new clothes whenever I go for voting. This time too I have bought this kurta,” Naimuddin told reporters. Elsewhere, village women in the traditional colours of Rajasthan were seen singing and dancing their way to the polling centres.

“It is just like a festival for us. It is only after few years that we get this opportunity and we enjoy this,” said Rekha Singh, a resident of Shivdaspura near Jaipur.


EVM snags

Reports of snags in electronic voting machines have been reported from various places in Rajasthan. The Congress is reported to have complained to the Election Commission that some of the machines in Nainwa in Bundi district did not have the logo of the party.

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