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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: 35 Sindhis cast first time votes after gaining Indian citizenship

After getting citizenship, the Sindhis of this group registered their names as voters and participated in the democratic process of the election

lok sabha elections Updated: May 02, 2019 15:01 IST
Nadeem Inamdar and Shrinivas Deshpande
Nadeem Inamdar and Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Pimpri-Chinchwad,Pakistan
25 Sindhis from Pak cast vote post getting Indian citizenship (HT PHOTO)

After getting Indian citizenship recently, around 35 Sindhis, who migrated from Pakistan years ago and made Pimpri-Chinchwad their home, cast their votes for the first time on Monday for Maval Lok Sabha constituency. The district collector gave them citizenship of the country recently. After getting citizenship, the Sindhis of this group registered their names as voters and participated in the democratic process of the election.

One of them, Rajendra Thakur, 52, migrated to India from Pakistan 37 years ago. Today, Thakur looked a happy man after voting for the first time in India. “It has been over 37 years that I have been living in Pimpri-Chinchwad. All those years, except discussing politics, I could not take part in any democratic process such as election and could not cast my vote. But today, for the first time, I voted,” he said.

Thakur thanked Balasaheb Runwal of ‘Mere Apne’ Foundation and Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram for helping in getting citizenship.

Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram said the applications of all these people were pending before him. “I decided to look into the long-pending issue and expedited the entire process of issuing permanent citizenship certificates by bringing all authorities concerned together. And in one go, all these people were issued their citizenship certificates,” the bureaucrat said, adding that while issuing the certificates, the district administration also got them to fill their voter registration forms.

Voters from villages and residential societies from urban parts of Shirur and Maval turned out in large numbers braving blistering heat to cast their vote for parliamentary elections on Monday. From first timers, physically challenged and senior citizens, large number of voters turned up at polling booths at various localities under Hadapsar assembly segment which is part of Shirur seat and Wakad, Pimple Gurav, Pimpri-Chinchwad areas of Maval Lok Sabha seat.

Senior citizens, physically challenged and sick people were given direct access to the polling venue in cars and autorickshaws by the policemen at Mohammadwadi, Undri and Hadapsar. According to the police, polling was relatively peaceful and citizens were seen in a long line outside polling centres till the evening deadline.

Residents of the newly added areas of Kondhwa, Undri, Mohammadwadi and Hadapsar demand better infrastructure — roads, water and drainage system in place and the same echo was found among voters who cast their ballot for the polls on Monday.

The mood was upbeat at Wakad, Pimple Gurav and Pimpri, the areas under Shirur. Voters stepped out of their homes early morning to escape the heat. By afternoon though, there were fewer number of voters, who preferred to stay indoors.

Representatives of residential societies helped members in finding out booth details. Daljeet Goraya, NIBM Citizens Watch Group president, said that residents from large residential societies stepped out early in the morning and cast their votes.

“We organised many awareness programmes about voting rights and carried out voter registration drives in which many citizens took part. Many residents from Mohammadwadi area comprising Gemini, Ganga Florentina, Raheja Vista and nearby housing societies, including Cloud 9 stepped out to exercise their right to vote,” he said.

Sanjeev Saxena, a 75-year-old ex-serviceman who stays with his son in Jalandhar, came all the way to vote in Pune. “We are registered as voters in Pune. I came from Jalandhar to exercise my right to vote. I hope that my vote will bring about a positive change in governance as the new government is formed at the Centre,” he said.

Homemaker Sandhya Ghule from Undri said, “We have voted for development this time. Undri faces severe water shortage and public representatives have failed in providing us water facility for the past one decade. We expect a change in 2019,” she said.

Sanjeev Kumar Patil, president, Wagholi Housing Society Association, said that the society members came out in large number to vote for development of Wagholi. “We assisted the government in smooth conduct of the polls and thank all the residents for their response,” he said.

Anil Patil, Kondhwa police station incharge, said, “We have taken strong security measures for the polling and it passed off peacefully with co-operation from all sections of society ,” he said.

KC Garg, secretary, Pimpri Chinchwad Cooperative Housing Federation, said that the federation conducted awareness campaigns for successful voter turnout. “A troupe comprising 10 boys and 4 girls performed street plays across Wakad and adjoining areas of Maval constituency to spread voter awareness. The federation also distributed pamphlets and posters to members of 5,000 housing societies in the area. It also worked with Probodhan Manch to promote voting. Through probodhan Manch, the federation performed 10 street plays,” he said.

First Published: Apr 30, 2019 16:28 IST

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