Nearly a fortnight after the Mumbai graduates’ constituency elections were held in the city, a political party has alleged that nearly 38,000 of the 90, 291 registered voters have furnished incomplete addresses.
Another 3, 478 voters registered either incorrect contact details or had shifted houses after submitting their applications to cast votes to elect Members of Legislative Council, the Lok Satta party has claimed.
Citing these discrepancies, the party has filed a petition with the Election Commission of India on Monday. Officials from the state election commission office said they would look into the matter based on the documented proof.
“We obtained a compiled voter list from the election office almost a fortnight before the election,” said Surendra Srivastava, state president of the party, who also contested the elections. “We found that the addresses of almost 38,000 voters were incomplete,” alleged Srivastava. He posted the manifesto to the remaining 52,000 voters. “Almost 4% envelopes have returned because the registered voter did not live at the address. We are expecting some more envelopes to return.”
On July 2, the biennial elections to the MLC from the graduates' and teachers' constituencies in Mumbai witnessed a paltry turnout of 16,000 voters. Chief electoral officer Debasish Chakrabarty said the Mumbai graduates’ constituency election needs some introspection because of “urban apathy”. “We haven't received any official complaint regarding the incomplete addresses... In case these observations are backed by documented proof, we will take action,” said Chakrabarty. “In the case of envelopes that returned, there is a chance that the voters may have relocated after they registered their names.”
However, Srivastava refuted the claim. “It is difficult to accept that almost 4,000 voters from the city shifted residences after registration. The registration process is very cumbersome.”