Millennium City Gurgaon scores low in Haryana poll

By Jaideep Sarin, IANS,

Chandigarh : With its maze of malls, condominiums and IT offices, Millennium City Gurgaon has never quite fitted in with the rest of Haryana – an incongruity that was underscored by the poor turnout in the Oct 13 assembly elections.

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Only about half the residents of the suburban town turned up to vote. At a time when the whole of Haryana recorded its highest polling percentages since the state was born, Gurgaon city, adjoining the national capital, recorded the lowest among all 90 assembly seats — at just 54.25 percent.

Much of the polling percentage came from the rural areas, whereas localities where technology professionals live recorded as low as 25 percent voting.

Women voters in Gurgaon voted in even lesser numbers – at just over 51 percent. This was the lowest turnout of women voters in any constituency this time.

In contrast, 86.46 percent females cast their votes in the Rania constituency in Sirsa district.

Incidentally, Gurgaon had the highest number of voters – over 231,000 – among all assembly constituencies in Haryana.

“People in Gurgaon, especially those related to the software and related service industry, don’t really relate to Haryana’s politics. That could be the reason for the lower turnout here. Most of the professionals also have not got their votes made here,” Gurgaon-based entrepreneur Sandeep Brar told IANS.

Gurgaon district, which has four assembly constituencies – Gurgaon, Sohna, Pataudi (reserved) and Badshahpur – too recorded the state’s lowest voter turnout at just 61.87 percent.

“There is no particular trend to this low voting in the Gurgaon constituency and district. Maybe people in Gurgaon city do not have too many needs and are not politically inclined,” Haryana’s chief electoral officer Sajjan Singh told IANS.

Gurgaon’s low turnout did not affect voting in the rest of Haryana as the state saw its highest voting percentage of 72.71 since its inception on Nov 1, 1966. Male and female voting percentages were close at 73.8 and 71.4 percent respectively of its 1.31 crore (13.1 million) voters.

The previous highest poll percentage was in the 1967 assembly elections at 72.65 percent.

Sirsa recorded the highest percentage of 84.18 among Haryana’s 21 districts.

The Dabwali constituency recorded the highest percentage of 87.25. The contest here was between Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala’s son, Ajay Singh Chautala, and K.V. Singh of the Congress, a close aide of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

In the case of male voters, a minimum of 59.71 percent cast their vote in the Panchkula constituency. The maximum was 88.17 percent in Dabwali.

Counting of votes that will decide the fortunes of 1,222 candidates will take place Oct 22.

During the April-May Lok Sabha elections, the state recorded 69 percent polling.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at [email protected])