The Election Commission’s decision permitting voting rights for Army, Navy and Indian Air Force personnel at their place of posting by treating them as residents of that constituency got 2,000 personnel and officials of College of Military Engineering (CME) eager to exercise this right, but only half could.
The city saw many localised protests over missing names of voters
Their excitement to vote was evident as officers were seen heading to the polling booth since morning at Ganesh English Medium School in Dapodi area.
While the voting process was a breeze for some, few were disappointed when their names did show up on the list despite submitting the necessary documents and forms. The list did not have the names of many top officials in the CME, which hassled them as they were told to vote without fail.
Speaking to mid-day, Manoj Kumar Nayak from the CME who hails from Uttar Pradesh said, “For the first time in my line of duty, I have exercised my voting right and thanks to the government who took this decision for allowing us to vote in our area of posting.”
He added, “We reached the polling station early in the morning and were excited to vote for the first time. We hope army officers across the country take advantage of this opportunity and go to vote.”
Another army personnel, Hawaldar Popat Dhavale, said, “It has been a pleasure to vote. Although we belong to another constituency, we have been given this chance to caste our vote in the area where we work. Some names were not added to the list and polling officials at the booth informed us to fill form 6 and 13 (F) again to accommodate them.”
At the end of the day, out of the 2,000 registered voters from the army who turned up to vote, half of them did not find their names on the list and hence couldn’t vote. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of the army officials said, “This is ridiculous as on one hand our department asked us to go and vote and on other hand our names are not on the list. This cannot occur as we have submitted all documents to the Election Commission.”
The number of personnel and officials of College of Military Engineering (CME) who voted yesterday