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‘Invalid address’: South Bombay building residents turned away at booth

The residents claimed that they have lived in the building for 65 years but this is the first time they have faced such a hurdle.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 30, 2019 10:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
South Bombay,Invalid address,booth
“We have voted in every election as far back as we remember. We even voted during the municipal corporation elections in 2017, and our names were there on the list at the time,” said one of the residents.(HT Photo)

Members of 27 families residing in a building at Bhendi Bazaar were turned away from the polling booth at Chor Bazaar on Monday, after they could not find their names in the voters’ list. Residents of Zainabia building, owned by the Waqf board, were told their address is not valid.

The residents claimed that they have lived in the building for 65 years but this is the first time they have faced such a hurdle. “We have voted in every election as far back as we remember. We even voted during the municipal corporation elections in 2017, and our names were there on the list at the time,” said one of the residents.

“When some residents went to the booth at 12pm, they found their names missing from the list. Eventually, we found that names from all 27 tenant families were not on the list. Each family will have five to seven registered voters. This means around 150 of us have been denied the right to vote,” said another resident.

Maulana Zahur Abbas, chairman of the Wafq board, said, “When residents of the building went to the polling booth, they did not find their names in the list. We had anticipated this as the area is undergoing a cluster redevelopment – a lot of buildings have been demolished and the tenants are living in transit camps. We had asked them to check their names in the list.”

However, Zainabia building has not been listed for cluster redevelopment. Residents have said that they will take action. Salman Ammar, one of the residents, said, “We will lodge a complaint with the Election Commission.”

First Published: Apr 30, 2019 10:22 IST