Chaos ensued in Mankhurd on Tuesday morning as hundreds of voters from the area found their names missing from the voter list for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls.
According to eyewitnesses, the names of over a hundred residents from Wards 135, who arrived between 9:30 and 11:30 am, did not feature in the voter list.
The confusion over the missing names later led to protests, during which police had to resort to mild lathicharge.
Initially, many assumed that their names might have featured in the list of neighbouring wards due to the new boundaries. Upon enquiring, however, they found that it wasn’t the case.
While some blamed the BMC for the blunder, others felt it was a deliberate attempt at keeping them from exercising their right.
“This is a conspiracy by some parties who wish to win the elections by using unethical means,” said Abid Shaikh, a local whose name did not feature in the list. Shaikh had cast his vote in 2012.
Another local, Sameer Jhaveri, blamed the BMC.
“We are not the only ones whose names are not on the list. The names of many politicians and Bollywood actors also didn’t feature on the list this time. The civic body should be more careful as this could could impact the results,” he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shaina NC and actor Varun Dhawan were among the list of people whose names didn’t feature in the voter list this year.
The crowd later gathered at the local chowky to demand an explanation from the officials, who simply asked them to approach the civic body with their complaints.
When the crowd tried protesting, the cops had to resort to mild lathicharge to thwart their attempts. At least two people were hit, but they did not suffer any serious injuries.
An official, on the condition of anonymity, told Local Press Co that the crowd had to be dispersed immediately as the protests could have escalated and led to a law and order situation.
The voting for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and nine other civic bodies in Maharashtra began at 7.30 am today. Apart from the civic bodies, the second phase of polling for 11 Zilla Parishads (ZPs) and 118 panchayat samitis is also being conducted today.
Over 1.95 crore voters across the state are entitled to exercise their franchise to choose representatives for ten city corporations, while over 1.80 crore people can cast their votes in the Zila Parishad and panchayat samiti polls.
Ruling coalition partners Shiv Sena and BJP, along with Congress, National Conference Party (NCP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) are in the fray. The cash rich BMC boasts of an annual budget of over Rs. 37,000 crore, higher than many states.
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