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Mumbai Diary page: Thursday Theme

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Hurdles of all sorts
Salma Saiyad (60) a handicapped woman, cast her vote at a polling centre at Ghatkopar’s Hindi High School on Wednesday.

Salma Saiyad (left)
Salma Saiyad (left)

The chair meant for carrying such people was made available, but there was no one to take her to the first floor of the centre. When authorities were asked they refused to help, saying there was no staff there. Later, after much difficulty, she was taken to the first floor by lift.

Saiyad also revealed that every year the situation is the same and she has to help herself, although she usually takes along a relative to accompany her. Further, at the same centre, Mohiddin Khan (36), a resident of Ghatkopar, was also shocked to find out that his name was missing from the voters’ list though he has a voter ID. His name was missing during the previous election too, he said, but the names of his relatives were present on the list.

Age no bar
They are all in their 80s, but the Shahs and the Mishras, residents of Carmichael Road in South Mumbai, came out and voted for the betterment of society. VK Shah is afflicted with Alzheimer’s but nevertheless displays immense spirit.

VK Shah (extreme right)

VK Shah (extreme right)

Shah said, “If you have not voted, then how you can blame or hold responsible your MLA? Everybody should exercise their voting rights.” His wife Indu Shah supported him, saying, “We all need to come out and vote for a better society.”

Of polls, postponement and practice
The State elections recently forced back the fourth National level Vasai Virar Mayor’s Marathon, which has been rescheduled to December 21, 2014 from its original date of November 2.

An earlier edition of the marathon. Pic/Nimesh Dave
An earlier edition of the marathon. Pic/Nimesh Dave

One learns that because of the Code of Conduct, in place leading up to the Assembly elections, and which continues till the results are declared, preparatory work for the event, which is promoted by the Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation, has been at a standstill. A spokesperson said that they did not want to compromise on the quality of the event, and hence the postponement.

We do not know if runners are heaving a sigh of relief at that (more time to practice) but whatever it is: registrations for the event, both online and offline, will continue as before. Revised details are available from the event’s website www.vvmcmayorsmarathon.com or from the helpline nos: 18002005424/8879559049. All those ready to tie their shoelaces have a one-month-plus window, in which to get ready.

Bitter taste
Congress candidate Shushiben Shah from Malabar Hill constituency alleged that the BJP’s Mangal Prabhat Lodha had arranged breakfast to influence the voters in housing societies at Napean Sea Road.

Shah said, “On the behalf of Lodha societies in Napean Sea road a circular was issued which said after we were done voting, arrangements had been made for breakfast. This is clearly a violation of the code of conduct and he is influencing the voters.” Shah has filed a complaint with the chief electoral officer in this matter.

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