At around 6:15 PM, when the press officer of the Election Commission held its presser, the calculated poll percentage in Varanasi was at over 55% (55.34% to be precise).

And it is to go up when the Election Commission releases the finally tabulated data.

It is indeed an achievement for the Banarasis and the political spirit of the city, the religious and spiritual capital of India, to change and to adopt the change, a need of the day to raise its voice on the neglect it is facing and to demand growth and development.

Yes, it can be said the figure of 55% is not something to feel good about. But when we see it in the context of the electoral history of Varanasi and in the backdrop of the voting trends in the metro cities of the country, we find the jump is good enough.

Varanasi has not seen its poll percentage crossing 50% mark since 1984 when the Lok Sabha election in the city registered 54.94% voting. In 2009 polls, the poll percentage was 42.61%.

Also, the voting trend in big and metro cities of India has been around 50% if we take the average of all such cities. In many cities, it has been in the range of 40 to 50%.

And a 14% jump election-on-election, from 2009 to 2014, is huge for the electoral outcome and the dependent sociopolitical developments. It is more than enough to shatter all pre-existing trends. It tells how strong the wave of change in the city has been this time.

And the wave of change Varanasi aspires for and needs is for the ‘paradigm shift’ in the approach on how the city should be developed, maintaining its ancient heritage, its contemporary culture and its present and future requirements of being a global spiritual and tourism destination.

It tells Banarasis are looking for and ready to go with the candidate they think can bring development to the city. The increased participation of voters tells many more aspire to be part of the decision making process this time now.

Bravo dear Banarasis. It is the way to go. Hopefully, the trend maintains an upswing in the elections to come.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

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