Like any good citizen, Supriya Jhunjhunwala travelled more than 1,000 kilometres from Delhi to the city, to vote. But the 39-year-old was to be disappointed, as her name was mysteriously missing from the voters’ list.

Supriya Jhunjhunwala had studied profiles of candidates in detail, but wasn’t allowed to vote
Supriya Jhunjhunwala had studied profiles of candidates in detail, but wasn’t allowed to vote

Jhunjhunwala, a consultant with a wildlife conservation agency in the Capital, fumed, “I woke up this morning with just one agenda; to go to the polling booth and choose a better future for India, even if it meant travelling all the way from Delhi.

When I arrived at the polling booth at Raheja College, on Relief Road Santacruz (West), where I have been voting for ages, it was disheartening to be turned back. I was sent up two floors to resolve this issue, only to be told after a half hour wait that they did not have any lists up there.”

No one to help
Jhunjhunwala walked a kilometre to three polling booths, manned by political parties, to make enquiries about her missing name. However, nobody helped her out.“I eventually went online to see if there was a portal that could help us. All portals of the Election Commission were hanging; some were even dead links.

We then called on a number we found through a commercial information dialling service and gave our details, but our voter ID details could not be located,” alleged Jhunjhunwala, who says she spent a substantial amount of time studying profiles of candidates for her constituency.

The woman, who shifted to Delhi a few months ago, had planned her trip so that she could finish off some personal work and also vote.

Names of thousands struck off from lists
Anandini Thakoor, chairperson of H/West Ward Federation, which covers Bandra, Khar and Santacruz, says at least 5,000 legitimate voters in her area were not allowed to exercise their right to vote because their names were deleted from the list.

Anandini Thakoor (in blue), chairperson of the H/West Ward Federation, alleged that nearly 5,000 voters’ names had been deleted
Anandini Thakoor (in blue), chairperson of the H/West Ward Federation, alleged that nearly 5,000 voters’ names had been deleted

“We have collected the data from the helpline number we floated,” informed Thakoor. Based on the facts given, the association has registered a written complaint to the Santacruz police. “If the errors are not rectified, we shall demand a re-poll soon,” added Thakoor.

When Thakoor demanded to know why the names were deleted, an election official told her that when officials went to the homes of voters to verify their details, many a time the security guards at the gate didn’t allow them to enter, or that the voters weren’t at home. The official gave this as one of the possible reasons why the names have been deleted.