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Confusion rules at voter registration centres in Mumbai

Monday, 10 March 2014 - 9:45am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

On a routine Sunday, Yasmin Raza, an engineering student, would sleep till late. But this Sunday, she was up by 8am and had reached her nearest polling station at the community centre in Goregaon by 9.30am. She wanted to get herself registered as a voter under the "special Sunday drive" announced by the Election Commission.

But Raza's excitement failed to match with that of the officers who were assigned the duty to carry out the drive. They turned up at the venue only by 10am.

While Raza had to wait for half an hour, things were worse at the polling station at SNDT University in Santa Cruz (West). Close to a hundred people left the venue without registering their names as the officers concerned turned up at 11am.

"It was complete callousness on the part of the officers. Several people who had turned up by 9.30am returned home as there was no one to attend to them," said Larson Fernandes, a resident of Santa Cruz.

Election officers claimed that the inconvenience was caused due to the rescheduling of timings of the drive. The drive was expected to start at 9am as per the first schedule, but the time was later changed to 10am.

Confusion prevailed in several polling stations as registered voters had turned up to fix issues like change of address or correction in spelling of their names etc.

"Our advertisements had clearly communicated that the emphasis of the drive was for new voters. However, in most polling stations, our officers had carried forms for both purpose. If residents were refused help in this regard, we will look into the complaint," said Shirish Mohad, deputy chief electoral officer.

However, amidst all the confusion, sources in the election office claims that new registrations have exceeded a few thousands in number.

"Over all, it was a successful drive. We received phenomenal response from all sections, especially from women and young voters. The exact numbers, however, will come by tomorrow as data has to be collected from 55,000 locations," Mohad added.

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