Several hundred voters in Borivli and Dahisar allegedly did not vote after voting slips issued by political parties took them to a non-existent polling booth
On Thursday as Mumbai went to polls, a misprint on voter slips sent over 2,500 genuine voters in Borivli and Dahisar on a wild goose chase — as they searched frantically to locate their polling booths.
The slips, issued by a political party to ensure people had no trouble finding their polling centres, ended up doing more damage than good, by mentioning the polling booth as ‘Pleasant Park’, which had since been renamed Vinobha Bhave Udyaan.
When voters reached the venue, all they could find was a notice written in chalk on the wall, directing them to JBCN School, located nearly two kilometers away.
“On Thursday morning, hundreds of people, eager to vote, started reaching the spot, which is a good 10 minutes steep upward walk from the main road. Many, especially senior citizens, created quite a ruckus, on learning that they would have to walk a long way again,” stated Bhikaji Rane, an eyewitness, who runs a shoe shop in the vicinity. Rane added that a majority of the voters were so peeved that they decided not to vote.
The notice written in chalk, instructing voters to go to JBCN School
Manoj Paralkar, a local resident and RTI activist said that the booth, which falls under the 60,61, and 62 voting constituencies, covering IC Colony and Azad Nagar in Borivli, saw nearly 48 per cent voting. “Had it not been for the faux pas, more voters would have cast their votes,” he said.
Pointing at the official notification, which has the name of the school as the scheduled polling booth (sunday mid-day has a copy), another local resident, Pandurang Rane said the error had obviously occurred when political parties were printing voting slips.
Local MLA Gopal Shetty, whose name and photo appears on many of the erroneous slips, was not reachable for his comments.