The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi in Tamil Nadu on Thursday alleged that the names of nearly 500 voters were missing from the electoral rolls in Tindivanam town of Villupuram constituency. Voting is currently under way in the parliamentary constituency and 38 others in Tamil Nadu.
Villupuram is a reserved constituency in Tamil Nadu with 13,87,007 voters. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam won the seat with a huge margin of 1,93,367 votes.
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader D Ravikumar, who is contesting from the constituency, claimed that the 500 people whose names were missing were either Muslims or Dalits. The VCK is part of the Congress-Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam alliance in the state. “Names of close to 300 Muslim voters were deleted,” T Dileepan, VCK’s Villupuram district in-charge, claimed.
Senior government officials, however, denied the allegation and claimed that no names have been deleted from the voters’ list in three years. “It is a rumour,” said Tindivanam Sub-Collector Mercy Ramya said. “We have not received any such complaints from the voters.”
M Hassan Bake, who lives in ward number 32 of Tindivanam, was among those who found out that his name was missing from the electoral rolls when he went to cast his vote on Thursday morning. The names of his wife, younger sister and mother were also missing.
“None of my family members could vote this time,” Bake told Scroll.in. “We were told that our names have been deleted from the list because we have not linked the voter identity card with Aadhaar card. We cast our votes in 2016 Assembly elections. How can our names be deleted within two years?”
Bake said he has been denied his right to vote as a citizen of India. “We have our Voter ID and Aadhaar card,” said Bake. “We are being denied our right to vote. Who gave the power to the officials to delete our names from the list?”
There have been several complaints of names going missing from the rolls, and of glitches in the electronic voting machines during the first and second phase of the polls.