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Why some Mumbai voters could not vote

April 30, 2009 20:43 IST

Image: People stand in queue to cast their votes at a polling booth in Dharavi
Photographs: Arun Patil

It was not the heat but errors in the voters list that may have stopped some voters from casting their votes in Mumbai.

Rajesh Mathuriya (40), a resident of Dadar, was among the voters who stood in a long queue for hours but was not allowed to cast his vote as his name did not feature in the list.

"Since 1995, I am voting. I was very surprised to hear from an election officer that I can't vote as my name was not there in the list," said Mathuriya, a voter in South-Central constituency.

"I carried my election identity card and ration card. My other five family members, who also have a voting card issued in 1995, voted but I was refrained," he said.

'I was directed to another voting centre'

Image: Paramilitary soldier stands guard at a polling booth

"I was directed to another voting centre but my problem was not solved. I am upset for not voting and the entire credit goes to election commission," he said sarcastically.

Although Sampanna Walawalkar, 21, was happy for voting for the first time, he has complaints against election officials as his father's name did not appear in the voters' list.

"The commission and the government say each and every vote is important. Even though my father completed all formalities and went to polling booth with the election card, he was told that the list does not feature his name and he can't vote," said Walawalkar, a Dadar resident.

'We want leaders not hooligans'

Image: Women voters show their Voter ID cards

Sadhna Kannamwar (69), a senior citizen, wants leaders to be polite, calm and they should not be hooligans.

"Nowadays, the young blood is losing its cool and fighting on the streets. We don't want such leaders. I want a leader who does his or her work with calm and a great vision," Kannamwar said.

Alhad Gore (40) expects politicians should work in a corporate style.

"Corporate companies have their effective management and timeframe for their plans. The mentality of politicians needs to be changed. They should not work like a government official. There is a need for more accountability and better results," he said.