Polling for Lok Sabha elections is underway in Bengaluru, and if the past trend is an indicator, the voting percentage is expected to remain low in Silicon Valley of South India, mainly due to a stream of holidays around the election day.
The three parliamentary constituencies of Bengaluru - BBMP South, Central and North are voting today in the second phase of the general election along with 11 other constituencies of Karnataka.
The day of polling falls between public holidays of Mahaveer Jayanti and Good Friday, followed by a weekend. Combined with the mandatory day-off on voting day, it offers a stream of continuous holidays to 72,68,788 Bengalureans.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, very poor turnout was recorded in all the constituencies of Bengaluru. In BBMP North the voter turnout was 56.53, in Bengaluru Central 55.64 and in Bengaluru South it was 55.75 per cent. Bengaluru rural on the other hand had witnessed 66.45 per cent of polling.
Indeed amid all these statistics, the 'Vote Maadi' trend on social media is still offering hope of the voting percentage fairing slightly better than the past.
To encourage voters the 'Vote Maadi (cast your vote)' campaign is also being led by different citizen groups and people from different parts of the state are posting their selfies and messages using the hashtag. As of 10 am the 'Vote Maadi' phrase was the third top World Wide trend on Twitter.
The city's three Lok Sabha seats have 84,850 first time voters and 6,869 polling stations.
Former chief minister Sadananda Gowda is seeking a re-election from Bengaluru North in a straight fight with Krishna Byre Gowda, Karnakata's Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj.
With more than 28 lakh voters, it is the largest constituency going for polls on Thursday.
The fight for Bengaluru Central is triangular. PC Mohan, the two-time BJP MP, is trying his luck for the third time - against Congress party's Rizwan Arshad and actor Prakash Raj.
In Bengaluru South, 28-year-old advocate Tejasvi Surya from BJP is pitted against veteran BK Hariprasad of Congress.
As per election commission's data, Karnataka registered a total voter's turnout of 1.14 per cent in the first two hours of voting. (ANI)