“If I fail to vote, that effectively means I’m no more alive. I’m dead,” says Jahangir Bi with conviction in her voice. She firmly believes what she said, like many of her ilk who sat near the row of polling stations in Shamshabad on Wednesday.
“I didn’t get a voter slip, but I somehow managed to find my name and vote,” she says. Kishtamma, another woman, sent her son home to fetch her voter slip. “I was out of station, and came directly to cast my vote,” she says, making it clear that she would budge only after casting her vote.
Sunita Patel, also from Shamshabad, was not so sure though. She and her husband Jayesh Patel, a bank employee, had been running from one booth to another, trying to figure out where their names were. She did not receive voter slips, and couldn’t find them even near the polling station. “We came determined to vote, but can’t find anybody to guide us. Arrangements are so bad,” she complains. Mobbed by voters, a panchayat official was seen frantically flipping through the slips, while a few more pr-otested their missing names.
“Anganwadi workers didn’t distribute the voter slips at all. They claim they received slips only yesterday [on Tuesday],” bemoans Shiva Avula, another disappointed voter.
At Maheshwaram, there were more complaints. Residents of the tribal hamlet cried foul about missing names. “My relatives, Kavitha Ramavath and Munavath Valli voted in the recently-concluded ZPTC and MPTC elections. But now their names are missing along with many others from our hamlet. We smell a rat in the whole thing,” frowns Ganesh Naik.
While some voters complained of not receiving their voter slips, others found their names deleted from the voters’ list