Poll panel made us Pappu: disappointed Delhi voter

May 7th, 2009 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) The Election Commission of India may have cried itself hoarse to make people go and exercise their franchise and not become a ‘Pappu’. But many Delhi voters didn’t have a choice Thursday - they found their names missing from the electoral rolls.
“Looks like I have been made ‘Pappu’ by the poll panel. They seem to have struck my name off the voter’s list without even informing me,” said a bitter Rana A.K. Singh, a resident of Mayur Vihar, Phase III, in East Delhi parliamentary constituency.

‘Pappu’ refers to a character who does not vote, featured in an Election Commission (EC) ad. The ad is a satire of a song in the Hindi film “Jaane tu ya Jaane Na”. In the song, Pappu can’t dance. The EC ad is meant to encourage people to go out and vote.

Singh made the bitter remark while walking away from a polling booth at Bharati Public School in Mayur Vihar Phase III, where people from his area were supposed to cast their votes Thursday - when all Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha constituencies went to vote.

He and his wife could not vote in spite of carrying their voter identity cards issued way back in 2003. They said they first found out that their names were not in the rolls during the 2008 Delhi assembly elections, prompting them to apply for inclusion of their names in the list.

They said they made the application through the Internet in January to ensure they have their names back in the voters’ list, well in time to enable them to participate in the 2009 general elections.

“Following the application made by us, even a poll official visited our residence to verify our address and collect our photographs. But it was not to be,” lamented Singh.

Said a bitter Singh: “Had I been an illegal Bangladeshi migrant or part of some vote bank, the government and political parties might have ensured that my name was not deleted from the voters’ list in the first place.”

Similar tales of disappointment were heard at various polling stations all over Delhi.

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