- Many people, voting for years, complained they could not find their names
- Among them were ace badminton player Jwala Gutta and a senior IPS officer
- Chief Electoral Officer has admitted there was a major complaint
Telangana's election body chief admitted that the names of many people were missing from the voters' list at booths in various parts of the state on Friday. Many people who have been voting for years, complained they could not find their names at their regular polling station.
"We put out a lot of advertisements that people should ask for Form 7 and enroll. But I am sorry not everyone was able to use it,'' Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar said.
Among them were ace badminton player Jwala Gutta and a senior IPS officer.
Chief Electoral Officer has admitted that there was a major complaint about voter name deletion in the electoral roll revision and has apologised to voters who were denied their right to vote. Complaints came in on Friday from across the state of voters denied their right to vote. From celebrities to a senior IPS officer.
"We put out a lot of advertisements that people should ask for Form 7 and enroll. But I am sorry not everyone was able to use it,'' Rajat Kumar said.
Ms Gutta alleged that she couldn't vote in Telangana as her name was missing from the voters' list. In a series of tweets, the shuttler wrote she was surprised to see her "name disappear" from the list.
Surprised to see my name disappear from the voting list after checking online!! #whereismyvote— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) December 7, 2018
The election officer said he is getting a report from the official who is in charge of Ms Gutta's neighbourhood.
"I do empathise with Jwala Gutta. Actually, her name has been missing from electoral roll since 2016. So, in 2016, 2017, 2018, the inclusion was not there. We will rectify that situation," Mr Kumar said.
Senior police officer T Krishna Reddy also posted on Twitter and Facebook that his name had gone mysteriously missing.
Today, I went to the Polling Station only to be told that my name is not there in the Voter list inspite of having a Voter ID card issued by ECI and a verification.— T Krishna Prasad IPS (@tkp1080) December 7, 2018
I returned home https://t.co/jwsZzNZ2ZZ Right to Vote has been denied.
Thanks to Election Commission. pic.twitter.com/iLT4TBOb5r
Protests were reported from districts like Adilabad after hundreds of voters found they could not vote.
Disappointment, anger and frustration among those whose names were missing from the voters' list at multiple polling stations across Telangana have raised concerns about what the scale of the problem may have been.
In September this year, 2.81 crore people were named in Telangana's final electoral rolls after the names of 3 lakh dead voters and duplicate names were removed.
Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy went to court saying the electoral rolls were not complete and had serious errors.
"The low voting is a reflection not just of those who didn't go to vote but those who were denied a chance to vote. There is reason to believe that there was voter profiling done and there was targeted deletion of voters though I don't have proof for that,'' said internet researcher Srinivas Kodali who filed a petition seeking the names of deleted voters.
Telangana and Rajasthan, which voted on Friday, were the last of the five states where elections were held ahead of next year's national elections.
Exit polls show Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrashekar Rao's gamble of dissolving the state assembly eight months before schedule paying off. Out of 11 exit polls, Mr Rao's party has been given outright majority by five. An aggregate of the exit polls have predicted the party will win 67 seats in the 119-member assembly, well above the majority mark of 60. The alliance of the Congress and N Chandrababu Naidu will win 39 seats.