On Thursday, New Delhi parliamentary constituency’s booth number 13 registered 92.5 per cent voter turnout, a record of sorts in the city since Independence.
But there is a catch. A local corporator has claimed that the record is dubious since the booth’s presiding officer, whether inadvertently or not, allowed over a hundred persons to vote though their names had been struck off from the voters’ list by the Election Commission.
Hoti Lal Gupta (64) and his wife Asha Devi (58) were among those whose names were deleted but they still voted, said BJP councillor Jagdish Mamgain.
If it were to be a close call when the results are announced from this seat, from where Congress’ Ajay Maken and BJP’s Vijay Goel are contesting, votes cast by Gupta and his wife could make a difference.
When asked by HT, Deputy Electoral Officer J.K. Sharma said, “We are aware of this and received a complaint too. But we found nothing irregular today when a scrutiny of the electors (voters) was done in front of the candidates and Election Commission observers.”
Till January 15 this year, these 605 voters were staying in a slum abutting a sewer drain located near JP Prabhu Market, opposite Nehru Sports Stadium. “These slum dwellers were evicted by the MCD since it wanted to build a parking and bus terminal facilities there,” said Mamgain.
Only 30 slum dwellers who could furnish domicile proof showing they were housed at the Rs 385 crore civic project site since year 2000 or before were entitled to get rehabilitated, said Mamgain.
HT has a copy of the voters' list, including 387 total registered voters, and the list of 605 voters whose names were “deleted”. “The names of the 605 ineligible voters run across 12 pages, while it was mentioned in the first page that they were ineligible. But the presiding officer took a stand that voters whose names were mentioned between page 2 to 12 can vote,” said Mamgain.