When 45-year-old M Hassan Bake went to his polling station at Nagammal Government Middle School in Villupuramâ€™s Tindivanam, to cast his vote on Thursday morning, he was in for a shock. His name was missing from the electoral list. He double checked and checked if the names of his wife, mother and sister were in the list, only to find that those were also missing.
Around 250 other voters in Villupuram Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu were in for a similar shock on Thursday morning as they realised that their names were missing from the electoral rolls despite having voted from the polling booth in elections prior to this. Many booth level officers were not aware of this and hence were unable to explain lapse, further infuriating the voters.
Hassan immediately took up the matter with the booth in-charge when he realised that there were several others like him who could not register their votes. All these voters fall under wards number 6, 32 and 33 in Tindivanam town. However, officials directed him to approach the village office regarding the matter.
Speaking to TNM, Hassan said that the officials at the village office asked him to call and check with the Tahsildar of Tindivanam. "I called her and she categorically denied that no such thing has happened. But we checked, our names are missing from the list," he said.
"All four of us voted in the 2016 Assembly elections. Why aren't our names present now? Nobody is giving us any clarity on this," he added.
Villupuram District Electoral officer L Subramaniam told TNM that he had received this complaint from Tindivanam but during the first round of verification, no names were deleted from the electoral rolls. "As far as the first round inquiry which was done by Tindivanam sub-collector, no names have been missed out of the list," he said.
Subramaniam passed the buck to the voters, stating that they were provided with sufficient time and information to apply through Form 6 to add their names to the list.
"If they claim to have voters identity cards, then I have to verify the issue again. Right now nothing can be done for them since enough time was given for the voters to add their names to the list,â€ť Subramaniam said.