slum-voters1With each passing day from voting day, various reports are surfacing. The latest one is that not only middle-class inertia was responsible for the low voting percentage in Mumbai but for the first time slum dwellers turned their backs on the polling process as compared to previous Lok Sabha elections. The biggest shocker from low turn out from slums has been reported from Dharavi, which falls in Mumbai South-Central and recorded only a 38% turnout. The average voting percentage there was 50% in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. Similarly, Shivaji Nagar, which falls in Mumbai North-East, saw its voting percentage drop to 32% from 45% in the 2004 polls. There has been a 15% to 20% decrease in voting percentage in a majority of the slum pockets of Mumbai. Reports say that the falling percentage of voters from slums is because slum-dwellers have lost faith in promises made by political parties, so many of them did not vote. They say that slum-dwellers have become aware of their rights. They have seen through the builder-politician nexus that is running redevelopment. Town planners say the slum rehabilitation schemes are a typical example of what has miffed slum-dwellers. These slum rehab schemes have flopped as there is a nexus between the elected representatives and builders to make huge profits without giving decent homes back to slum-dwellers. The result is a further slumming of the city. There has been a complete disconnect between the masses and political leaders. Even during this election, money was distributed in many slums, but that did not translate into votes. They have become a wiser lot. And looks like this wiser lot now is in no mood of being fooled into voting politicians to power who fail them always. Bureau report – NMTV News.

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