Election day is a ‘holiday’ for many in Bangalore

April 23rd, 2009 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, April 23 (IANS) For software professional Amit Saxena, 32, Thursday came as a “good mid-week break” from work as he enjoyed the day catching up with two latest Hollywood flicks at his home in upscale Koramangala suburb in Bangalore.
“I have registered myself as a voter in my hometown Lucknow. I cannot vote in Bangalore, although I wanted to. Thus I am enjoying my holiday, watching movies and eating home made delicacies prepared by my wife,” Saxena, who migrated to Bangalore only six months back, told IANS.

Like Saxena, many in India’s IT hub enjoyed the day relaxing as Thursday was declared a state holiday as three constituencies of the city went to polls Thursday.

Along with central and state government employees, around 600,000 people working in IT and BPO sectors of the city also availed holiday Thursday, as most of the private companies decided to keep their shutters down to encourage their employees to vote.

Manali Reddy, 36, who runs a garment business in the city, although a registered voter decided not to vote, as she has lost faith in the “democratic system”.

“My vote is not going to make any difference. Politicians hardly do anything for common people. It is strange that not a single candidate in Bangalore has talked about the large scale impact of global economic recession in the city. My business is in doldrums,” said Reddy, who kept her office closed as most of her workers asked for leave from office to cast their votes.

“Thus today is like a Sunday for me. I am enjoying the day with my two kids and husband at home and will visit relatives, later in the evening,” said Reddy, a resident of J.P. Nagar.

Like Reddy, Pooja Gowda, 30, a software analyst, decided to enjoy the day at a resort near Bangalore, instead of voting.

“I have voted earlier. But, now I don’t do. I have lost faith in the system. Our politicians don’t work for the welfare of the country and people. To make good use of the day, I have decided to enjoy the day with friends and family in a resort, instead of waiting in the long queue to cast my vote,” Gowda said.

Out of 28 Lok Sabha constituencies of Karnataka, 17 went to polls Thursday, which included Bangalore South, Bangalore North and Bangalore Central. The remaining 11 are schedule to go to the polls April 30.

The number of voters in Bangalore’s three Lok Sabha constituencies stands at around 5.9 million, according to the election commission.

However, when it comes to voting, Bangalore voters have always fared poorly.

As per the official statistics of election authorities, 56 percent of the registered voters in Bangalore did not cast their vote during assembly elections in May last year.

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