City Correspondent GUWAHATI, Dec 5 - Due to alleged negligence of the officials concerned, hundreds of voters in the Amsing gaon panchayat area could not exercise their franchise as they did not find their names in the voter list when they had gone to cast their votes during the first phase of the panchayat polls this morning.
A woman, carrying her child on her back, casting her vote at the polling booth set up at Bonda School. – AT Photo
Several locals of the Janasimalu area of Guwahati today alleged that they did not find their names in the list. A section of them started protesting near the polling station at Guwahati Academy Junior College.
Located in the eastern part of Guwahati, parts of Janasimalu fall under the jurisdiction of both the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and the Amsing gaon panchayat. It comes under the Amsing gaon panchayat, Chandrapur anchalik panchayat and Pragjyotishpur zila parishad and consists of around 5,000 voters.
“Hundreds of people have been left out of the voter list issued by the district administration. Interestingly, those who have been left out are not new voters. Most of them had cast their votes in the past three to four elections. To deprive such people of exercising their franchise is really unfortunate,” Nagen Baishya, a resident of the area, told this correspondent.
Baishya also alleged that in some localities of the area, not a single name featured in the voter list. He cited the examples of the residents of Aryabhatta Path and Yusuf Nagar, who could not cast their votes this time.
“It is the responsibility of the panchayat officials concerned to verify the voter list well ahead of the election. But, this time, no verification had been carried out in our area. So, many people were left out,” Baikuntha Barman, another resident, said.
Reacting to the allegations, district administration officials present at the spot stated that those who have been excluded from the list should not lose heart, as they will be included in the list for the GMC election.
Eviction and lack of basic amenities are major issues in this area this time. Though it lies very close to the Dispur Capital Complex, its residents have for long been suffering due to roads in dilapidated condition and a perennial water crisis.
“For us, potable water and well-constructed roads are like dreams. This time we hope the elected representative will address these issues,” Badal Barman, a senior resident of the area, said.
Some people of Bonda, another panchayat area of Kamrup Metro district, also failed to cast their votes as their names, too, were not in the voter list.
“The polling was completed peacefully in our area. As per our assumption, around 70 per cent of the voters cast their votes at various polling stations. But, some names were missing. The number is not so high, but it is still a violation of one’s democratic right,” Damodar Bodo, a resident of Bonda, said.
Today, long queues of voters were seen at every polling station of the city even after 3 pm. Polling was going on at some stations till late evening when reports last came in.