Graduates fear losing out on chance to vote

Sep 16, 2013, 00:08 IST | A Correspondent

While political parties are all set for the upcoming Pune division graduate constituency election scheduled for next year, several voters fear that their application to enrol for voting during the election would be turned down by district election office because their names do not feature on the Election Commission of India (ECI) voters list

The Pune division comprises five districts: Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur and Pune.

Dr Vaishali Ghodekar
Dr Vaishali Ghodekar

Though the officials claimed there was no steadfast rule for those wanting to vote during the upcoming election must have their names on the ECI voters list, but said it was necessary for the aspiring voters to have Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC). The one-month-long registration drive for those wanting to vote during the election would commence from October 1.

District Deputy Election Officer Apurva Wankhede specified that EPIC cards were must for those who wished to enrol their names for voting during the election. “If they don’t have EPIC cards then they should provide their ECI numbers so that we can cross-check whether the names exist or not.” Wankhede said the decision was taken to curb the malpractice of bogus voting during elections.

BJP MLC Chandrakant Patil, who defeated NCP’s Rajesh Patil-Vatharkar in 2008, said that though no one could stop the graduates from enrolling their names for the upcoming election, it is expected of the voters to furnish their EPIC cards during enrolment.

Stating that making EPIC cards mandatory while enrolling for graduate constituency election would affect the voting ratio, former Pimpri-Chinchwad mayor Dr Vaishali Ghodekar  said at least 20 per cent of the population was yet to register with the ECI.

“I have raised this issue in the meeting called by the district collector on September 11 and was assured that the matter would be discussed with the state government officials,” Ghodekar said. Dr Sarika Sawant, who wants to enrol for the election, feared the district officials would turn down her application because her name does not feature on the ECI voters list. “I have been trying to enrol my name with the ECI for the last two years. But despite filling all the necessary forms, my is still not included in their list,” she said.

Did you know?
>> There are seven constituencies for graduates spread across the administrative divisions of Mumbai, Konkan, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur
>> To enrol as a voter, one has to be a graduate from any university in India and should have passed out at least 3 years before the elections
>> An applicant needs to fill Form 18 and attach certified true copies of mark sheet and degree certificate from the university concerned

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