Name, sex, address changes prevent many from voting

Citizens complain about errors in voter list, blame Pune Municipal Corporation for goof-ups

Quite a few people could not vote in the civic election yesterday because of errors in the voter list. The hardest hit were some residents who had shifted from downtown areas like Bhavani Peth, Raviwar Peth and Kasba Peth to localities such as Wanowrie, NIBM Road and Viman Nagar, among others. These voters discovered that their names, addresses and even sex had been wrongly registered.

"We shifted to NIBM about two years ago from Ramtekdi. However, the address mentioned in the voting list is that of our previous residence. As a result, we were given constituency at Ramtekdi for voting," Mohammed P (72) said. "Why would we vote for candidates in Ramtekdi when we don't live there but reside in NIBM Road?"

Helpline no help

Mohammed P said he was especially disappointed as he had cast his vote in all previous PMC elections. "Despite calling the helpline number -- 9225320011 -- the errors were not rectified," he said. Dr Khozema Rangwala and his wife Rashida from Wanowrie faced similar problems. Despite registering complaints that they had been receiving voting slips with wrong names and addresses for the past two elections, the error was not rectified.

"I was bewildered when I found that instead of Mr Khozema, the slip and the list mentioned Mrs Khurshed, Mrs Khujjama, and Mr Khojemma Rangwala, all with different election numbers. While the first one had my Wanowrie address, the second and the third slip had the old address, from the time when we were residing in Bhavani Peth. It has been ages since I shifted to Wanowrie. What's the point? We could not cast our votes even this year," he said. 

In addition, his wife, whose polling booth should have been in Salunkhe Vihar, which is Panel Number 61, was
given Fatima Nagar (Panel Number 46). Vazira Shah, a resident of Mohammedwadi, said that despite repeated complaints, the administration failed to issue voting cards to the family. "There has been no cooperation at all from the PMC election department. We simply could not vote this time," Shah said.

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