Vrindavan. 2017.11.27 (VT): Residents of Vrindavan and other places in Mathura District voted in local elections on Sunday. Vrindavan’s markets remained closed till 5pm to facilitate voting.
In the days preceding the election, candidates competed for popular support with various methods. Rallies were held and rickshaws went from neighborhood to neighborhood, blasting campaign songs and slogans over loudspeakers.
The hottest issue in this election was the merger of Mathura-Vrindavan. According to one Loi Bazar trader, “I don’t have much motivation to vote. Elections are the one time when politicians interact with the community. As soon as the election is over, they disappear.
“Yogi and his team are very good, but the problem is they don’t listen to the people. We didn’t want Vrindavan and Mathura to be merged, but they didn’t ask what we wanted.”
It appears that much of Vrindavan agreed .Voter turnout in the district was extremely low, with only 47 percent of voters participating district-wide.
Besides opposing the Mathura-Vrindavan merger, many citizens were also unhappy with the candidates and the reservation of the mayor’s seat. Many are expected to have voted for NOTA (none of the above), an option by which a voter can register his or her rejection of the available candidates.
Voter turnout in Mathura and Vrindavan was only 41 percent, while in smaller villages, which are not part of the merger, turnout was higher. In Barsana, 71 percent of voters turned out, whilst 67 percent of Radhakund residents voted. Gokul showed the higest voter turnout in the district at 81 percent.