On April 25, 2014, DNA reported that “The Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai were marred by deletion of names from the voters’ list. Names of at least 2 lakh people were missing. Similar things had also happened in Pune.”
According to another DNA report on May 6, 2014, “Yesteryear actor and movie producer Amol Palekar and his wife Sandhya Gokhale have moved the Bombay High Court over their names being deleted from the electoral rolls in Pune, because of which they could not cast their votes.”
On May 7, 2014, The Indian Express reported that, “Hearing a bunch of petitions in connection with the deletion of names from the final voter lists of Mumbai and Pune, the Bombay High Court … said, ‘There was a remedy available to raise an objection. Let us assume there was a mistake, but the final voters’ list was published on January 31. …… Can you find fault with the Election Commission (EC) when citizens do not even read the final voters’ list?’”
Times of India had reported on March 6, 2014 that “Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath … clarified that though the electoral rolls … had been updated and published by all the states, the missing voters can still hope to make it to the rolls.
“The commission has directed that special camps be organized in all polling stations (on March 9)…in over 9 lakh premises, where booth level officer (BLO) will be available with a copy of the electoral roll displayed on the notice board and requisite number of Form 6 (for voter registration),” said Sampath.
The special camps were conducted on Sunday, March 9. All eligible voters whose names were missing from the voters’ list could apply for enrolment. My name, my family members’ names and the names of some of my neighbours were missing from the list. We attended the very well-organised special camp in our polling station and submitted the Form 6 with supporting documents. Each person had to spend only around 30 minutes.
One week before polling, our Voter ID details were put up on the Election Commission website. We voted using the Form 6 counterfoil, the Voter ID details and an Identity Proof.
If we could do this, why couldn’t Mr. Amol Palekar, Ms. Sandhya Gokhale and others do the same? Instead of crying over spilt milk, they could have easily ensured that the milk did not spill.
But, then, to quote former Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha, “It is perhaps our national character to blame everyone else except ourselves.”