Woman officer-in-charge at Mulund polling booth forgets reading glasses at home, delays voting by 1.5 hours
A long queue of voters outside Booth No. 105 in Mulund yesterday
Mulund's Matolia brothers' foolproof plan to avoid long queues at Ward No. 105's centre went for a toss when they realized that they were going to have to wait until the officer-in-charge, who suffered poor vision, figured how she would function without specs that she had left at home.
The officer-in-charge is usually assigned the task of checking voter ID cards and voting slips. As many as 50 voters waiting in queue had to face the brunt of her absent-mindedness.
The woman, who suffered from poor eyesight, forgot her spectacles at home in rush to get to the center, leading to over an hour's delay, said Nilesh Matolia (51) and brother Shailendra.
Brothers Shailendra and Nilesh Matolia before the chaos broke
Frustrated, angry voters threw a fit. Senior police officers finally to intervene and placate the crowd.
Nilesh even offered to pick up her glasses from her residence. "I had a business meeting which I was forced to cancel because of this delay," he said. "How can someone be this negligent on election day?" wondered Shailendra, a resident of Powai. "The officers only decided to act after we created a ruckus," he added.
Finally, after two hours, another officer was brought in to replace the lady in-charge. "We called for another officer since she couldn't see without her glasses. Things will be fine now," said a senior police officer on duty. The female officer is yet to be identified.
According to senior police inspector Madhav More of Mulund station, the female officer initially refused to reveal why she was delaying the proceedings. Prashant Sakpale, T ward officer, was unavailable for comment.
Percentage of voter turnout at the last civic election, considered low by experts
Percentage of voter turnout till 1 pm yesterday