As if deciding whom to vote for is not hard enough, voters in BDA Layout, Konena Agrahara in HAL 3rd Stage have an additional headache. They don’t know in which polling booth they have to go to cast their vote.
A.K. Varadhan, member of the HAL 3rd Stage Residents’ Welfare Association, told The Hindu political parties have been distributing voter slips over the past three days. “We have received slips distributed by the BJP and the Congress. While details such as serial number and name are the same, the polling booths mentioned in both slips differ.”
Showing the slips, he pointed out that the polling booth on one is Sir M. Visvesvaraya School and PU College, and it is the Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jeevan Bima Nagar, NAL campus, on the other. The two polling booths are at least a kilometre apart. He claimed that around 4,000 to 5,000 such slips have already been distributed to the residents of this area that comes under C.V. Raman Nagar Assembly segment. “This is bound to create a lot of confusion among voters. This may have been done intentionally to deter voters from exercising their franchise,” he said, suspecting foul play.
Mr. Varadhan said educated voters may verify the polling booth by checking the voters’ list online or by contacting the office of the Returning Officer. “What about the others? There are many slums here. Who will help the residents from these areas?”
When contacted, Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said election officials would be distributing the official voters’ slips to the electorate over the next few days. “These are authentic and, hopefully, will settle any confusion that the citizens may have about where to cast their vote.” He said the Election Commission would set up kiosks across the city on poll day to assist citizens.