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Democracy diehards were few and far between on Monday as Ranchi was coaxed to choose its new mayor from among 14 candidates including a scam-tainted predecessor to the post who effected cancellation of the poll last year.Those who abstained from exercising their franchise did not fumble for excuses. The unanimous choice of answer was that they preferred a paid holiday to queuing up at booths for what seemed like another baseless charade after April 2013’s cash-for-vote scam. As a result, most polling stations registered lesser footfall than some parks and restaurants in the city.

The turnout at 9am, two hours after voting commenced, was a dismal two per cent. By noon, it touched around 10 per cent. And, when polling officials called it aday at 5pm, the percentage was 17.72. Many booths, where thetotal number of voters on the list was between 650 and 800,witnessed footfall in two digits.CHHANDOSREE hears outthe bizarre reasons that kept mostvoters away and the ones that drove a handful to their democratic duty


Maine bahut utsah ke saath Modiji ko vote dala tha. Par dekhiye, woh satta mein aate hi
train ka kiraya badha diye. Iska matlab kya hai? Yehi ki satta mein rehkar janta-janardan ko nahi yaad rakhna hai. (I had voted with great enthusiasm for Narendra Modi. But look, soon after coming to power, he has hiked railway fares. What does it mean? It means, when in power, forget the masses.)

Brajesh Nath, a shopkeeper in Kishoreganj

Four days ago, residents of our area requested four mayoral candidates to walk through lanes and bylanes to witness our civic woes. Only two came and held group meetings. They did not care to tread through muck and filth. What good will such people do for us?

Rachna Tiwari, a resident of Ratu Road, enjoying a day out at the aquarium with husband and children in tow

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