Voters apprehensive about names being deleted from list all over again

A photocopy of her husband S. Yaseen’s old voters’ identity card is all that Meher Taj (35) has to prove that the family are voters. Ms. Taj, who along with her family relocated from Shampura in Kadugondanahalli ward to Chamundinagar in Manorayanapalya ward in 2009, applied for the voters’ card eight months ago. They are still waiting.

“Although we had voted in the 2008 Assembly elections in Shampura, we could not vote in the subsequent corporation [Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike] elections despite our names figuring in the list. We were told that was because the list did not have our photos. We don’t know whether we will be allowed to vote in the coming elections.”

There are many like Ms. Taj in the area who are unsure whether they can vote this time round. Gulnaz Begum and her husband Mohammed Suhail Ibrahim, who moved from Dinnur to Chamundinagar two years ago, got their names deleted from the Dinnur list and applied for new cards in Chamundinagar. “Although the list in the councillor’s office as our names, we have not got the cards,” Ms. Begum said.

These voters are from the same area in Hebbal Assembly Constituency where hundreds lost their right to vote despite having voters’ identity cards. The Hindu, which had reported this lapse soon after the elections in May 2008, revisited the area and found that most voters, who had applied for new cards, were still waiting.

During the 2008 Assembly elections, hundreds of voters, who had photo ID cards and had voted in the previous elections, were unable to vote as their names were stamped “deleted” or had been left out of the final voters’ list. Almost every second house in Chamundinagar, Kanakanagar, and Bhuvaneshwarinagar had at least two persons who had ID cards but could not vote. The situation does not seem much altered now. A visit to one of the Aadhar card centres located in Vasanthappa Block on CBI Road in Ganganagar proved this. “We are sending back nearly 15 persons — who come to get Aadhar card — as they don’t have voter ID cards,” said an official at the centre.

Mohammed Yunus, a resident of the area, claimed that nearly 20,000 names had gone missing from the voters’ list during the 2008 Assembly elections.

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