About 30% voters of city could not vote due to ‘missing’ names in list – unprecedented failure of democratic process!

Bhagwatgeeta and Dilesh Temburne

Bhagwatgeeta and Dilesh Temburne

Voting for NMC elections today, 21st February 2017, ended leaving lots of Nagpurians very disgruntled and unhappy.

Confusion in voter lists, and one member of a family finding his name ‘missing’ is normal, it is expected, and generally overlooked.

But this time the confusion was mass scale. Unprecedented. At a rough estimate our correspondents who were moving around the city the whole day found at least 30% hopeful voters disappointed and very angry.

Amit Agrawal, age 25 was one. He had voted in 2014 for Lok Sabha and 2015 for Vidhan Sabha; he was going to be voting in local polls for the first time and was very excited about it. But when he reached his usual polling booth, his name was missing from the list. He ran from pillar to post looking for his name but could not find it anywhere and could not cast his vote.

Dr. Shrikant Mukewar and his wife Ranjana living in Shankar Nagar also found their names missing. Their parents lived with them and also used to vote enthusiastically. Two years ago his father, senior Dr. Mukewar passed away and they registered his death certificate after which his name was removed from voters lists. But to the family’s surprise, even his mother’s name (Kusumtai Mukewar) was deleted though she is hale and hearty.

“They sent me ‘up’ too with my husband ” Kusum tai says jokingly.

But the height of confusion was even Shrikant and his wife’s names could not be found. Determined to vote, the couple went around many voting centers but could not find their name anywhere. Only the names of their two adult sons was there – and they both live abroad currently. So no one could vote!

A mother and son from Vardhman Nagar also could not find their names though they have been living in that area for many years.

People are questioning how such omissions could have suddenly happened after elections just 2 years ago in 2015 when situation was normal!

Sudabai Bhojraj Banode and Nimisha Madke

Sudabai Bhojraj Banode and Nimisha Madke

How this huge lapse will affect results is the worry of candidates now whose ‘fate’ is sealed in voting machines.

The complicated system of having to press 4 buttons in two machines – in some places – also had many voters confused. Some cast their votes for 4 different parties, thinking the more the merrier!

If this throws up mixed results in some ‘Prabhags’ it is going to be a nightmare to administer these areas. How will the 4 Corporators from different parties divide areas between them?

Voting done with, many Nagpurians are also expressing dissatisfaction with their favorite political parties for not being united and having factions within themselves.

This is true for both parties – B.J.P. and Congress.

This has prompted some to opt for the option of NOTA.

It seems the fate of the next local body is going to be like our roads… full of holes, disjointed and half cordoned off!!!