‘Is my vote not important?’ RC Bhargava, Shobana Kamineni cry foul over name ‘missing’ from voters’ list

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New Delhi | Published: April 11, 2019 5:06:28 PM

Election 2019 First phase: Polling day witnessed some prominent names from the corporate world cry foul after they found their names missing from the voters' list.

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The Lok Sabha election kicked off today, setting the ball rolling on the world’s largest democratic exercise. Voting began across 91 seats in 20 states and two Union Territories in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election 2019. However, polling day also saw some prominent names from the corporate world cry foul after they found their names missing from the voters’ list. Among these names are Chairman, Maruti Suzuki, RC Bhargava and Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospital, Shobana Kamineni. Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw also expressed her disappointment after her mother was denied her vote.

Bhargava said he found his name missing from the list on Thursday morning and added that there was no possible recourse. “You can’t vote. period,” he told CNBC-TV 18.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw took to Twitter to express her angst and disappointment. “My mother’s voter ID has been deleted on some flimsy excuse that there was a report that she no longer lives at her address. She is so upset I can’t tell you becos she has been at the same address for 19 years. So much for ‘verification’ @BBMPCOMM @ceo_karnataka,” she wrote.

Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospital Shobana Kamineni also expressed anger at her name being ‘deleted from voters’ list’ at the Masab Tank polling booth in Hyderabad, from where she has been voting for a long time.

“This is the worst day for me as an Indian citizen. I came back as i wanted to exercise my franchise and I come to the booth and I am told that my vote is deleted. Am I not Indian citizen. Am I not counted in this country? Is my vote not important? This is a crime against me as a citizen and I will not tolerate this. I have voted here for the assembly election in November I feel cheated as a citizen,” she said while holding out her voter ID card.

Following the reports, AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal asked in a Tweet: “What is happening EC? Are these elections fair?” He also shared the instances where the voters complained that there name was missing from the list and said, “Anti-BJP votes deleted all across India.”

How to vote in India
As per rules, an Indian citizen can cast his or her vote with a prerequisite being that their name has to be in the voter list which is also known as the Electoral Roll. Post that, once the voter shows their valid ID proof, he or she is allowed to vote. The citizen can also verify their name and polling booth online before the elections, as directed by the Election Commission of India.

Even after the voter registration, those who did not find their names online were asked to submit a form before March 15 to have their names included.

Duplicate voters?
As per a report by The Quint, about 30 lakh voter names were deleted from electoral rolls in the 2018 Assembly elections in Telangana. An RTI query had also disclosed that the Telangana Election Commission made use of the Aadhaar card to delete potential duplicate voters without conducting any verification.

Lok Sabha Election dates
Today is the first phase of voting and it will be followed by six more phases to conclude on May 19 with the counting of votes slated for May 23 when the results of the 2019 general election will be announced.

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