Voters alleged that their names were deliberately struck off the voting list in order to prevent them from exercising their franchise.
Many people who had turned up at polling booths to cast their votes for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls were disappointed after their names were missing from voter list. As a result of this they were unable to vote and returned home. Voters alleged that their names were deliberately struck off the voting list in order to prevent them from exercising their franchise. Around 11 lakh names were missing from voter list. The state Election Commission had created awareness among people to cast their votes and urged them to check whether their names are included in the updated voter list published on January 5, 2017. Despite this some of them failed to check their names and hence had to pay the price for the same.
Many times people check their names in the voting list on the day of voting and by then it is too late to take any action to rectify the error. Hundreds of voters from Mankhurd area were dejected after learning that their names were missing from the voter list. According to eyewitnesses, the names of over a hundred residents from Wards 135, who arrived between 9:30 and 11:30 am, did not feature in the voter list. As a result of this, confusion prevailed and people started protesting as police had to resort to lathi charge. Bogus voting was witnessed in some localities as some people had voted on behalf of genuine voters.
The scenario was no different in MiG Colony Bandra € were around 100 people’s names were missing from voter list. These voters had cast their vote in the assembly election but this time around they were unlucky. The polling officer had asked them to file a complaint in this regard.
Even some celebrities were unable to exercise their franchise after they learnt their names were not included in the voter list. Actor Paresh Rawal and producer Goldie Behl’s names were missing from the list. When Varun Dhawan arrived at the polling booth to cast his vote he was disappointed to find that his name didn’t appear in the electoral list.
He said, “Upsetting that I couldn’t find my name on the voter list. My name has not shown up in the list unfortunately, it’s bizarre because I voted last year. Will find out from EC where is my name,”
Sudhir Phanse a Borivali resident said, “I had taken a half day leave from office for casting my vote. However after reaching the polling station I was unable to find my name in the voter list. I had enrolled my name during the voter registration drive undertaken by the Election Commission few months back. Despite this my name is not included in the list.”
Satish Gadekar an insurance agent from Malad said, “I had cast my vote in the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly polls. However, my name doesn’t appear in the latest voting list. This incident only shows that officials are not careful while updating the list. I will file a complaint with the electoral registration office in this regard.”
- Anoop a software engineer employed with an IT firm in Andheri said, “I had shifted my residence from Kandivali to Borivali and also had applied for changing address for inclusion of my name in the new locality. However officials have not updated my address. They need to be careful while performing their duties else citizens will have to face hardships.”
RTI activist Anil Galgali said, “Even though there were many goof ups and missing names in voting lists still people ventured out of their house to cast their votes. This is one of the great achievements for Mumbaikars as the city has broken its previous voting percentage.”
The BMC election is considered to be a referendum for the Fadnavis government and its results is likely to alter the political equations in the state for the assembly polls. The cash rich BMC boasts of an annual budget of over Rs. 37,000 crore, higher than many states. The results of civic body polls will be declared on 23rd February. Mumbai registered a record voter turnout of 52.17%, up nearly 8% over the 2012 figure.