Many Chennai residents irked as their names were omitted from electoral rolls

As they did not check the list ahead of time since they had been consistently voting for years, the deletion of their names came as a rude shock

Updated - April 21, 2024 12:21 am IST

Published - April 19, 2024 08:46 pm IST - CHENNAI

Several voters across the city were left fuming as they could not exercise their franchise as their names were missing from the voters’ list this time. As many did not check the rolls ahead of time since they had been consistently voting for years, the deletion of their names came as a rude shock.

Meherunissa, a resident of Kannilal Street in Mylapore, said she felt humiliated and utterly dejected that she could not vote this time. “I ran from pillar to post and one booth to another, and wasted my time only to find out that I could not vote. The funny part was, an official told me that since I live in a rented house, my name could have been omitted. But in all these years, not once has such a thing happened. It is a shame that they could not verify all the voters before finalising the list,” she added.

Sardar Mohammed Shah, another resident of the locality, said while 15 members of his family should have voted, only five did. “Everyone was upset that they couldn’t vote. We have been living in the same address for several years now, and this is the first time we are witnessing such a thing. How can the names vanish from the list this time?” he said. His neighbours also said members of their family were in a similar predicament. Many residents from other areas of the city too echoed the complaints and were exasperated over missing their opportunity to vote.

Logannathan V. of Sholinganallur said that in the last decade, he had voted thrice and never moved from his house, and wondered on what basis the authorities had removed his name from the list. “People think it is a small issue but to be able to vote is my privilege and duty. If the authorities had organised the polls better, many of us would not have missed our chance,” he added.

Arun Seetharaman of Sholinganallur said while he and his wife could vote, his father’s name was left out from the list. Similar complaints were reported from all three Parliamentary constituencies in Chennai district. Some residents, such as Shakunthala Thiyagarajan, 55, of Patel Road in Perambur said names of all four members of her family (including herself) did not figure in the voters’ list for the first time. Rajkumar, 54, another resident of Perambur alleged the same. “I’m a Sectional Engineer in the Chennai division of the Southern Railway, and yet, my name had been left out,” he added.

Parithi Elamsurithi, Councillor, ward 99, said many residents who had voted for the Greater Chennai Corporation Council election in areas such as Purasawalkam were not able to vote in the Lok Sabha election as their names were deleted from the voters’ list.

T.M.N. Deepak, founder, December 3 Movement, who could not find his name on the list said: “Whether accessible or not I have come to vote for the past 15 years. But the basic inclusivity itself is missing this time.”

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