A large number of voters,including many first-timers,returned home disappointed from polling stations on Wednesday after they were not allowed to cast their votes. Their names were missing from the list of voters. Such complaints were received from several polling booths in South,New Delhi,East and Northeast districts.
Many voters who turned up at polling booths with voter ID cards and other documents to establish their identity were turned away. The Delhi Election Commission clarified later in the day that having an electoral photo identity card (EPIC) alone does not give you the right to vote.
In New Delhi constituency,70-year-old Pritam Singh had come all the way from Shadipur,claiming his voter card was made in this district. Till two years ago,at least 4,000 others like Singh lived in the G-point quarters and the neighbouring jhuggis at Kali Bari Marg before the government demolished the structures. Only about a hundred of them were rehabilitated.
Under the law,their names have been deleted from the electoral list as the addresses,and not just the occupants,dont exist anymore. Many who turned up at one of the model polling stations in New Delhi had to return home without voting.
The entire list had four voters from the G-point address,one that does not exist anymore. It included Beer Wati of 127-jhuggi,
G-point,Kali Bari Marg. She had come with her family of six all the way from Trilokpuri,and was the only lucky one to find her name in the electoral list.
Parvinder Kaur,who had come with her husband from Dev Nagar,said,We all have legal address proofs,Aadhar cards. But politics seem to have got in the way,it has killed us and turned us into ghosts.
Saleen Bedi,a 20-year-old first-time voter,spent hours hopping across four polling stations in the New Delhi constituency. She did not find her name in any of the lists.
In Timarpur constituency too,many turned up at the polling booth,only to be told their names were missing from the voters list. For the last several years,we have been casting our votes religiously but today when we went to the polling centre,we were told that our names were missing form the voters list, Poonam Verma,a teacher at Hindu College,said.
We have written to the Chief Election Commissioner of Delhi to take appropriate action, she said.
Kanti Sundaram,a resident of Yamuna Apartments in Alaknanda for the last 32 years,said,I have been living in this city for the past 53 years. I have a voter card,but this time my name was not on the list. How could that be? I have been voting for all these years. I feel let down.
Residents of Muslim-dominated areas such as Brajpuri too were annoyed and had heated arguments with poll officials for not being allowed to vote. Even residents,who have been living here for the last four decades and have voted before,are not being allowed to vote. This is a conspiracy, Mustaqeem Hussain said.
At a polling station in Lado Sarai,many voters complained of their names missing from the voters list. We received our voter ID cards about 15 days ago but mine as well my wifes names are not in the list, Rajesh Sonavane said.