State Editions

Voters struggle hard to trace polling booths

| | Ranchi | in Ranchi

The voters in the State capital, who braved the scorching sun to exercise their franchise on Monday, faced the brunt of delimitation of municipal wards finding it difficult to locate their polling booths, exposing the preparedness of the district administration.

Ironically, it was not just the general public who faced difficulty in casting their vote but also the sufferers included Leader of Opposition Hemant Soren and Cardinal Telesphore P Toppo.

Hemant along with his wife Kalpana Soren had to wait for more than one hour at St. Francis School polling booth—the polling centre where Soren family cast their votes in every election.

Later on, Soren was informed about the change of polling centre. “After much hassle, we were able to find the polling booth which has been shifted from St. Francis School to St. Kuldeep School. No one intervened at the primary level. The arrangements at the polling centre are pathetic,” said the former Chief Minister. 

Similarly, Cardinal Telesphore P Toppo returned from Purulia Road polling centre without casting his vote as he too was unable to find out his name in voters’ list of the designated polling centre. Toppo said, “Despite much attempt, the polling personnel were unable to find my name in the list of the polling booth from where I usually cast my vote in every election. Every single individual at the polling center appeared bewildered.”

Expectedly, Hemant lambasted the ruling BJP for D-day fiasco. “The mismanagement shows the utter failure of the ruling party. This is a conspiracy of BJP who does not want polling to be conducted in a free and fair way as they fear that if voters’ turnout increases, they might lose their monopoly in the State’s biggest Urban Local Body (ULB),” he alleged.

Complaints of electorates regarding relocation of polling centers were reported from almost every nook of the Capital City. Several electorates complained that they were never approached by any candidate during election campaign with slips (a small sheet having all details) that they generally used to get beforehand.

Many returned disheartened without casting their votes.In addition, a few polling centres lacked basic facilities where differently-abled and elderly persons faced immense trouble in casting their votes. Technical glitch in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were also reported from a few polling centers during the peak polling hours.

“After enquiring at three booths, I was finally able to find out the polling centre where my name was listed. Also, leaving out Mayoral and Deputy Mayoral candidates, I did not recognize the names of ward councilor aspirants,” said Nutan Mishra, a resident of ward 4 in fury.

Meanwhile, Urban Development Minister CP Singh slammed the district administration’s arrangement. “I am extremely unhappy with the district administration team. Reports of public returning from polling centres have disheartened me.”




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