It seems that the political leaders - who are otherwise racing up to include new voters in the voter’s registration list to get the numbers in their favour - are showing complete apathy to the drive of updating photos of citizens in the current list.
According to the district election officials, the ongoing drive, in progress since April 1, will end with the deletion of bogus voters from the list. Surprisingly, this is the only reason why the representatives of political parties in the district gave the meeting called to seek their help in making the drive successful by deputy district election officer a miss.
“Apart from the representatives of Communist Party of India (M) and Republican Party of India (RPI), no representative of any other political party attended the meeting conducted on May 17,” said Deputy District Election Officer Apurva Wankhede. “It was the duty of political leaders to make the drive successful.”
However, after attending the first meeting on April 15 to plan a strategy, no political leader, apart from CPI (M) leader Ajit Abhyankar and RPI (Athavale) leader Chandrakant Sonkamble attended the meet.
Meanwhile, when contacted, the political leaders who attended the first meet with the district election department officials but skipped the second one had a lot of reasons for their absence.
“The officials didn’t let us know when the meeting was held,” said Shiv Sena leader Shirish Rane. However, later he changed his statement saying that generally, political parties faced problems in sending their representatives, as the parties do not have full-time workers.
The MNS leaders, who otherwise condemned the Election Commission of India’s decision to use teachers as Booth Level Officers (BLO), asked why the district election officials needed their party workers when they had their own independent machinery of BLOs.
“Are the officials expecting our party workers to go door to door to collect the photos of voters?” asked Deputy City President of MNS Ajay Shinde. He also raised the question on the credibility of BLOs.
On the other hand, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) worker Ganesh Nalawade claimed to have gone for a wedding ceremony during the meeting.