Distance, delay and deletions in Hyderabad Lok Sabha polls

Names of voters being deleted from electoral rolls shock party functionaries in Hyderabad

Updated - May 15, 2024 09:55 pm IST

Published - May 14, 2024 11:12 am IST - HYDERABAD

Men and women waiting in queue to cast their votes during the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections in a polling station in Hyderabad on Monday.

Men and women waiting in queue to cast their votes during the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections in a polling station in Hyderabad on Monday.

Three Ds - distance, deletions and delays, appeared to have played spoilsport for electors of the Hyderabad Lok Sabha polls, that recorded the lowest turnout.

Voters, and party functionaries who were given charge, opined that they were shocked to find names being deleted from the rolls. Some of them maintained that they had exercised their right to franchise only in last year’s Telangana Assembly Elections.

“Eight names from my household were deleted from the electoral rolls,” said S.Q. Masood, an activist. What is ironic is that Mr. Masood’s area of work includes electoral issues. “My name, my wife’s, mother’s, three brothers and their respective wives’ names were deleted. Apart from these names, two cousins could not find their names on the list. This is of course shocking. I have already written to the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO), but the elections are done.”

The road to the Madrasa-e-Saliheen polling station in Biryani Shah Dargah Tekri is steep, which an unskilled biker will find difficult to navigate. Party workers posted there to monitor the polling said, “We have over 150 deleted voters. We were surprised by this. A lot of people who climbed all the way up here had to return,” a worker, who requested anonymity told The Hindu. A constable posted there nodded in agreement, adding that some voters who had voter slips too had to turn back.

Mr. Masood, who sought to check whether his name was on the Absentee Shifted Dead (ASD) voter list, said that there were less than 30 names on it, a stark contrast as compared to the 150-odd struck off the electoral rolls.

“Several voters who live close to this polling booth have to vote in a completely different neighbourhood, and vice versa. There was a lot of confusion because of this,” another polling agent said.

Another elector, who cast his vote in the previous elections near the Balshetty Khet Playground in Noorkhan Bazaar, about a quarter of a kilometre from his house, said that his polling booth for this year’s Lok Sabha elections has changed. He now had to drive much further to a SETWIN property near Khilwat.

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