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Elites losing faith in the system: experts

By New Delhi
May 12, 2004 04:14 IST
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New Delhi constituency, with about 45 per cent people exercising their franchise, witnessed the lowest turnout as compared to the rest six constituencies in Delhi while experts see it as decline of faith in the system especially among the elite.

"In the posh constituencies of New Delhi and South Delhi, the turnout was moderate with about 45 and 46 per cent voters casting their votes in the Lok Sabha polls, respectively. It shows that elite people are losing faith in the system," psephologist Navin Surapaneni of the Centre for Media Studies said Monday.

The turnout crossed 50 per cent mark only in Delhi Sadar and Chandni Chowk constituencies where 54 and 52 per cent of the voters cast their votes. In East Delhi, Outer Delhi and Karol Bagh, about 46, 47 and 48 per cent voters turned to vote in the respective constituencies, he said.

Psychologist Dr Sameer Parekh said high temperatures could have had a small effect on the turnout of the elite.

"Generally, heat does not stop voters from casting their votes. But it could slightly affect people in the upper literate class," he said.

Low to moderate voter turnout thins the margin of victory and generally favours the party in power. A higher turnout indicates the presence of the anti-incumbency factor being more important, he said.

Low turnout is also witnessed when people think that "nothing would change even if they use their vote," Parekh said.

Surapaneni said other factors could explain the moderate turnout in New Delhi constituency, where "demolition man" Jagmohan of the Bharatiya Janata Party is taking on Ajay Makhen of the Congress.

According to him, the 63 percent of the voters in the constituency who are government employees may have made use of the three days of leave to go out on a vacation.

"About 55 per cent voters not coming to the polling booths also reflects an erosion of faith of the people in the system. They simply do not trust any political leader, irrespective of the party he belongs to," Surapaneni said.

In the last elections, the BJP had won all the seven seats in the capital.

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