Pune: As many as 1,500 voters were in shock after they realised that they cannot cast their vote for the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) elections scheduled to be held in 2020 as their names have been removed from the electoral list.
Their names were removed after a Supreme Court directive issued last year. Apparently, the ward members of PCB have appealed Member of Parliament Anil Shirole to take up the issue with the government.
Interestingly, Shirole was unaware of this. There are 43,861 voters in the list published in September 2017, however, the number has come down to 40,536 in the preliminary list that had been published by the PCB in July
According to Priyanka Shrigiri, Vice President of Pune Cantonment Board, the Supreme Court order directs that any persons living in encroached and illegally-constructed houses on Central government (CG) land and defence land in the cantonment area, have to be removed from the cantonment’s electoral list.
Shrigiri said, “Around 3,000 voters have been removed from the voters’ list, out of which names of 1,500 residents of cantonment have been annulled following the Supreme Court directive. These evicted voters are the ones who had encroached and made illegal constructions on the defence land. The receding number is also attributed to the change in the population of the area.”
The ward members of PCB has started distributing form number 3 to those whose names have been excluded from the voters’ list. They have to fill it and write suggestions and objection on it and submit before August 15. Shrigiri said, “These forms will be scrutinised and then there will be hearing on it. After this, the final decision will be taken whether to remove or relist the name,”
Kiran Mantri, a ward member of PCB, said that the names of the residents of the entire Chimta Vasti have been removed from the roll. Mantri said, “As per the Supreme Court ruling, the names of those who had encroached the defence land are to be removed. But no person in Chimta Vasti falls under the defence ambit. 500 names of people staying in the Vasti has been removed,”
Atul Gaikwad, a member of PCB, said, “The names of 250 people of Babajan Nagar ward number 4 are not there in the preliminary list published in July 2018. These are the internal voting and not any Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha votings. And the lands which they are living in are civil area lands,”
He also mentioned, “Also we are urging that MPs and MLAs of all the cantonments in the country should come together and take some efforts in order to incorporate new amendments in the Cantonment Law. This will help to get these names on the final electoral list.”
Anil Shirole said, “I am not aware of the names removed from the voters’ list. And according to the SC order, the names of those who have encroached on CG land has to be removed and that has to be implemented. But still, I am not aware that how many names have been removed and what has to be done, So I need to check it first and then will be able to comment on it.”