As Mumbai gets into its election mode on Thursday, April 24, discrepancies seem to be lurking around.
Electronic voting machines (EVMs), the main essential of Indian voting, seem to be giving people a hard time this season. In the previous phases, many EVMs have failed to function. While some transferred votes to a particular political party, others simply refused to work.
Mumbai ushered in rather slow-paced voting early on Thursday morning. In the first phase of elections here, excitement seems to be brewing. As Bollywood woke up early this morning and got inked, it's time for the average Mumbaikar to do so too.
However, what stands as a major obstacle in this process is a bunch of non-working EVMs. Little Star School, Ghatkopar West, faced similar problems early on Thursday morning. As voters lined up to get their ink marks, the EVM failed to respond. Akurli Road School in Kandivili East faced the same issue. Voting in this ward was delayed by 40 minutes and started at 7:40 am instead of the usual 7:00 am mark.
The slip issuing center at Airport Colony, Vile Parle, was also out of order since the morning. Defective machines have irked the voters here and many are reported to have returned home without casting their votes. Others wait in the long queues to fulfill their responsibilities.
Uddhav Thackeray and his family will be voting from Bandra East. Image by Mustafa Plumber.
Handicapped voters in Kalanagar, Bandra East, face yet another dilemma as there are no ramp facilities, thus causing further delay and problems. Uddhav Thackeray and his family will be voting from here. Kumud Shah, 88, a resident of Walkeshwar, had a tough time entering the polling booth because of the steep ramp there.
Kumud Shah, 88, had a tough time entering the polling booth because of the steep ramp. Image by Ashutosh.
More than 2,000 voters from the Sahakar Nagar area in Wadala, whose names have been deleted from the voters list, have approached the Returning Officer in the area. They claim that close to 10,000 names have been deleted from lists all over Mumbai. The names of middle- and higher-income group residents are missing; however the names of slum dwellers are on the list.
As phase six of the Lok Sabha 2014 Elections catches pace, the elections fever in Mumbai too seems to be rising.
With inputs from Geeta Desai, Mustafa Plumber, Dhaval Kulkarni, Shahkar Abidi, and Eknath Makne.