Bengaluru: Thousands of voters expressed their anger against BBMP officials and the Election Commission after they learnt that their names had been removed from the voter list.
Names of over six lakh voters from 28 constituencies in Bengaluru Urban have reportedly been removed and voters alleged that the NGO Chilume Trust, which was revising the voter list, has targeted people from minority communities.
Nusrat Bhanu, a resident of Rahamat Nagar, said to The New Indian Express , “Our community has been targeted by the NGO and BBMP officials. My neighbours and I have been voting for 50 years and some of the vegetable vendors in the area were shocked that their names had been deleted from the list. We have had our houses here for the last 80 years. I think BJP party workers are behind this scam and they intentionally deleted 65 names in our locality.”
Syed Mehboob, an engineer from Sultanpalya, said, “They have taken away our right by removing our names. I checked the Election Commission website and also called the helpline centre which confirmed that my name has been removed. I have taken leave from work and voted for the last 15 years.”
BBMP launches campaign
District election officer and BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath, after going through the draft voter list, said the BBMP has launched a special campaign till December 8 to allow name deletion, background identity card name addition and correction.
After visiting ward offices at various Assembly constituencies in the city, Girinath said voters should take advantage of the campaign and submit their claims and objections.
Cases like these where names of voters are removed from the voting list comes in the category of Voter suppression. Voter suppression is a strategy used to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing specific groups of people from voting. Voter suppression attempts to reduce the number of voters who might vote against a candidate or proposition.
The tactics of voter suppression range from minor changes that make voting less convenient, to physically intimidating and even physically attacking prospective voters, which is illegal. Voter suppression can be effective if a significant number of voters are intimidated or disenfranchised.