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BMC elections 2017: We should get one more chance to vote, says Irked locals

BMC elections 2017: In another instance, 43-year-old Bharat Shah said that names of many residents of his building, Mahavir Darshan, were missing from the voter list and they were sent back from the polling booths.

Written by Arita Sarkar , Radhika Ramaswamy | Mumbai |
February 22, 2017 2:42:35 am
bmc-polls-759 Some people whose names were missing from the voters’ list made a representation to the returning officer of K West Ward.

SIXTY-YEAR-OLD Kishan Daswani — a hearing and speech impaired resident of Andheri West — had to face a difficult time Tuesday as he couldn’t find his name on the voter list at the booth of ward 63. A hassled Daswani went to the office of the returning officer to find out why he was not able to vote. Like Daswani, hundreds of people in the Andheri and Versova belt were running from pillar to post after their names were found missing in the electoral rolls, despite having voted for years in the past.

Suchitra Nair, a resident of Sundar Park society at Veera Desai Road, was shocked to find that along with her, about hundred others from her building couldn’t cast their vote.

“Only a dozen from the building were able to vote. We don’t know why the rest of us couldn’t. Most of us have voted before this.” She added that they waited for an hour at the booth amid chaos, following which they decided to approach the Versova police. The voters then went to the returning officer’s office in Andheri Sports Complex, where they met more people who had had similar experiences. Vinod Khanna, a resident of Azad Nagar, said, “I am 60-year-old and have been voting from the same constituency for decades. I am diabetic and have been running around since the morning to understand how our names didn’t make it to the list.”

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The residents also demanded that since the number of people who missed out on voting because of technical loophole was large, they should be allowed to vote another day and the counting be delayed till then.

Some of the angry voters held a meeting with the returning officer of K west ward, Rajendra Ahiwar, and made a representation to him in the afternoon. Ahiwar said, “We have received the applications from the residents. The voter list was given by the Election Commission. We don’t know if there were errors in compiling it. We have forwarded the complaints to the Election Commission.”

MNS candidate Neena Vaswani and a few BJP workers were with the voters, helping them address the issue with the officials. “We are here to help them. We believe at least 15,000 people from the Andheri-Versova belt were unable to vote and this is injustice,” said Vaswani.

Several residents from societies in ward 66, Juhu Galli in Andheri West were unable to find their names in the voter list.

One such resident of Friends Home society, Dhaval Mehta (29), said “The names of voters missing from the voter list was common in many societies in ward 66. Even though I had voted in the Vidhan Sabha elections and in the last civic elections, my name does not figure in the list. I even checked on the True Voter app, but couldn’t find my name.”

In another instance, 43-year-old Bharat Shah said that names of many residents of his building, Mahavir Darshan, were missing from the voter list and they were sent back from the polling booths.

“In our building, residents have voted in three different wards and it is confusing. I went early at 9.30 am to avoid the rush, only to find that my name or my family members’ names do not figure in the list. The same has happened with many other residents in other societies,” he said. Another resident, 36-year old Sujit Rambhau Waghan of Swati society, complained that like many others, he too had voted in 2014, but was unable to cast his vote Tuesday.

“I pleaded with the zonal officer to let me vote, but he simply said that my name was not on the list. He had no explanation as to how the names of six people from my family went missing from the list,” he said.

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