Amid the outpouring of anguish from scores of citizens over missing names in the voter list, which prompted an apology by the Election Commission, a city-based NGO has launched a grievance cell to compile voting-related complaints.
Volunteers Better India (VBI) plans to take all the grievances to the poll panel, with an appeal to allow the eligible voters to cast their ballots before May 16, the counting day. Soon after the cell was launched on Friday, it was flood with 8,000 plaints.
According to EC officials, it is not possible for them hold re-polls for the missing names. A top electoral officer of Maharashtra said, "While we are open to amend the list post May 16, there is no question of re-polling. People must not fall for such initiatives."
The VBI was actively involved in spreading awareness about the importance of casting ballots in 100 constituencies across India. It also encouraged many NRIs to come down and vote. Even on April 24, their volunteers visited many societies to take people out for voting.
Vasudha Jhunjhunwala, director VBI said, "We painfully watched thousands of voters returning from the polling booths without casting votes because of incorrect deletions with no prior intimation. Hence, we thought that there was a need for a single forum where all these voters can register their complaints."
When told about the reality that re-poll was impossible, Vasudha said, "I wish EC could do something about all these voters who failed to use their constitutional right. If that is not possible, we would request them to add these names in the list before assembly elections." The VBI contemplates to extend its services to Pune and Nagpur too.
Vasudha added, "The voter registration work in Maharashtra was lacking vigour due to non-sensitive middle-level staff in EC. Other states where we visited for example Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were up-to-date."
To lodge a complaint
You do any of the following:
Give a missed call at 022-39386803
SMS your FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, AREA and VOTER ID to +91 77189 17555
Fill in a form on http://Tiny.cc/missingvoters
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org