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Kejriwal, thousands sent back without voting in Ghaziabad

Wednesday February 29, 2012 12:12:39 AM, IANS

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Ghaziabad: Thousands of people, including Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, were turned away from polling booths in Ghaziabad and could not vote in the state assembly polls as their names were missing from the electoral rolls.

Although the administration claimed to have no such figure of missing voters, figures gathered from various sources revealed the number of such missing names of voters to be between 7,000 and 8,000.

In Sector-11 of Raj Nagar area, more than 150 permanent residents found their names missing from the rolls.

"I came here especially for voting from Dubai. But I returned without casting any. I have voted in all the elections so far," said 33-year-old NRI voter Pradeep Yadav.

In Suncity Indirapuram, Kavi Nagar, Vasundhara, Vaishali, Brij Vihar and Chander Nagar, many residents found their names absent altogether from the voters' lists. Among them was Kejriwal.

Kejriwal, who was on his way to Goa for campaigning, returned from the airport to cast his vote. On reaching the designated polling station in Kaushambi, he saw his name missing from the list, though he was carrying his valid voter identity card.

A few cases were also reported in which the servants' names were on the rolls but the names of their employers were missing.

"There are at least four families - all in general category - residing in Sector-10, whose names are missing but their servants figure in the list. This is despite that they (the family members) are old residents and have voted in all the elections," said Akhilesh Singh, a Congress agent.

The booth agents of various parties alleged that the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party had managed the entire election process by engineering "defects" of this kind at the most minute levels, while the lists were being prepared.

"It is not necessary that the servants would vote for the same party as their general caste employer. This would drastically affect the results," alleged Vineet Sharma, a Bharatiya Janata Party agent at Raj Nagar.

Complaints were also received from almost all corners of the city for denying the voters the right to reject under Rule 49-O of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.

Asked about the wide scale of missing names, District Electoral Officer Aparna U. said: "It is a general problem. Our booth level Officials had gone door-to-door for the updation. The persons whom he found were not residing in a particular house for last six months were removed and new ones added, if any. We have added as many as 24,6000 new voters in the last few months."

"Further, our voters roll is there on website and people should have checked there," she said.

Asked about Kejriwal's omission, Aparna said, "Kejriwal's name is absent from the 2009 revision list. We don't know where he voted in last elections. Since September, our booth level Officer has visited his house four-five times but none of the times was he present. Still, if he complains, we would look into it."







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