AGITATED residents who were unable to vote as their names were missing from the voters’ list on April 17 assembled at the New Central Building opposite Council Hall on Friday with ‘applications’ stating that they were denied the right to vote.
District Collector and Election Officer Saurabh Rao had said that voters whose names were missing from the list could put forth such ‘appeals’, which would be forwarded to the State Election Commission.
The council hall witnessed high drama on Friday, with voters who were unable to vote protesting even as political parties took out morchas as well as hunger strikes to meet the demands of the voters.
This prompted police to cordon off the entire area. The collector had put his staff at the new administrative building for voters to submit written appeals so that the forms can be forwarded after his report to the state election commission. The drive started at 9.30 am and went on till 5 pm.
The day-long drive with ten counters saw 453 applications collected that had names of 1066 voters.
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Yogesh Bhat from Kasba Peth assembly constituency had a peculiar dilemma. His name had figured in the dead voters’ list so he could not vote while his parents’ names did not figure in the list. “I have been voting for the past ten years but suddenly I find my name in the dead voters’ list. How can the administration suddenly put me in the dead category?” he asked. Gaurav Pawar has submitted a xerox copy of his voter identity card pointing out that in spite of having one, his name was deleted from the voters’ list.
The same was the case with Anjali Paranjape from Kothrud assembly constituency whose name went missing. In the application, she has said she had voted in several elections in the past.
D V Shete of Akurdi in Maval constituency said although the names of his two daughters are there in the list, his name as well as his wife’s name went missing.
Dipti Prakash Pendharkar of Kothrud’s Gururaj Housing society said nearly 173 names went missing.
Grahak Peth’s Suryakant Pathak, who had himself helped in enrolling 110 names, saw only 52 names voting yesterday while his name, too, was deleted from the list. “My voter ID card is of 1994 and I have been a regular voter. This time, I have been unable to vote despite having helped other voters register in the drive,” said Pathak.
The election department also got an application from Anita Shamani of Somwar Peth who has given a list of 180 names that went missing from the voters’ list demanding that these voters should be allowed to vote.
Another voter Pratap Gaikwad, who was unable to vote, said he was collecting the names of all missing voters and wants to file a PIL demanding that the results for the elections should not be declared until they are allowed to exercise their franchise. “We might approach the Bombay High Court on Monday,” said Gaikwad.