Pune: All the political parties have decided not to challenge the High Court ruling on deleted voters and are to ensure genuine voters are not deprived of voting during the ensuing state assembly elections.
The High Court on Monday has rejected the plea requesting to give another voting opportunity to the voters whose names have been deleted from the electoral rolls during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. After the polling day on April 17, in Pune, there were at least 500 agitated voters who were deprived from voting as their names were not included in the voter’s list.
Reacting to court decision, Congress candidate, Vishwajeet Kadam said that even though the other parties have demanded giving opportunity of voting to the deleted voters he had not done so. He said, “I had requested the district election officer to ensure that all the legitimate voters should get an opportunity to vote and their names included in the voter’s list for the state assembly election due by the end of this year.”
BJP city unit president and candidate for the Lok Sabha elections, Anil Shirole said, “We have to respect the court decision. It is unfortunate that despite being voters for successive elections thousands in Pune were deprived of their voting right. BJP as a party would take all necessary steps to ensure that all the voters are registered before the ensuing assembly polls.”
MNS candidate, Dipak Paygude said, “It is a sad thing that after 67 years of independence, we don’t have our electoral rolls updated and accurate. It shows that there is no accountability.” He said that MNS would run a campaign to enroll voters soon after the code of conduct comes to an end on May 31.
NCP city unit president and Rajya Sabha MP, Vandana Chavan said , “As a party we would create awareness about registering the names in electoral roll but I am against running a campaign for collecting forms from voters for registering. I would appeal people to approach government machinery and get their names in the voter’s list before the assembly elections.”
What citizens say
Executive director of Grahak Peth, Suryakant Pathak, who could not vote as his name was missing from the list said, “I respect the court’s verdict. However, I feel that if a common man commits any mistake, he gets punishment but if some government authorities do the same, they are left unpunished. I could not vote this time because of mistakes by government authorities. There is no assurance that such mistakes will not happen in future.”
RTI activist, Vinita Deshmukh, who was at the forefront of missing voters agitation said that it is very unfair citizens have not got any relief from the judgment. “It is only the government authorities who have got the relief. The responsibility of names gone missing from the voters list has not been fixed on anybody. First citizens were denied their voting rights and now they only will have to run from pillar to post to register their names,” she said.
Aniket Mundada from Parivartan NGO, which had undertaken voters registration campaign said, “The verdict by the high court was expected but it has not mentioned any action against the concerned officials. If citizens get similar experience in the upcoming assembly elections, they will be discouraged to participate in voting.”