Following a request from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Friday, the state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Debashish Chakravarty has decided to seek directives from the central election commission (CEC) on the issue of voting rights for the homeless.
Thackeray called for a recall of this clause of giving the right to vote to the homeless. This often leads to the inclusion of bogus voters, who often come in the city for a few days, manage to get voting rights, cast their votes and then vanish forever, which MNS chief claimed was a misuse of the provision.
“It is ridiculous that someone sleeps on a road for three-four days and claims the right to vote. We do not know where they come from. There’s no way to verify their credentials. How can this be acceptable in a democracy?” Thackeray asked.
According to the 2011 census, there are around 5,000 homeless people in Mumbai. However, it is estimated that the actual figures are well above 20,000.
“We have decided to ask the local electoral office to exercise caution while granting voting rights to the homeless. We have referred this matter to the CEC to reconsider the provision of giving voting rights to the homeless,” said Chakravarty.