Pune: Responding to Marathi actor Amol Palekar and his wife Sandhya Gokhale's plaint over deletion of their names from the voters' list, Election Commission (EC) has said that on March 1 itself the Palekars were aware that their names were not included in the voting list. The couple did not approach any of the local election authorities, despite the process of voters' registration being open till March 15. Eventually, the couple could not exercise their franchise on April 17, the day Pune went to polls.
According to the officials at the district election commission, booth-level officers (BLOs) had gone to Palekar's residence address, 2 Kozi Nook, 866 Bhandarkar Road to update the voters list. The security guard deployed outside the residence, said that the Palekar had moved from there. The officials said that the BLOs had asked for the new address, but he was not forthright with the information, following which the officials on duty were prompted to delete their names from the voting list. In its reply, the EC further added that Palekar's name appears in the Andheri assembly constituency in Mumbai, and under section 17 of People Representative Act 1950, one should not have his or her name in more than one constituency, as it amounts to criminal offence. The letter also states that if they are living in Shivajinagar constituency, they can fill up the form Number 6 with BLO in Shivajinagar constituency.
When contacted Palekars, Sandhya Gokhale refused to comment and said that the issue is still pending with EC office and it would not be appropriate to speak on this issue. However, sources suggest that the Palekars have replied to the letter from the EC stating that the reply was unsatisfactory and that the BLOs should have inquired about his address and not rely what the security guard said. Sources also revealed that the Palekars in their reply have stated that they had already approached the officials of Andheri constituency to delete their names from the list, but no proof has been submitted along with the reply.
Palekar and his wife Sandhya Gokhale had lodged a complaint with Deccan-Gymkhana police station, after they could not cast their votes as their names went missing from the voting lists. After district election commission received the complaint, they conducted an enquiry. They found that Palekars had voted in the 2009 General Election as well as in the 2012 civic elections.