Many vow not to vote as Palike 'fails' to issue voter ID cards

Many vow not to vote as Palike 'fails' to issue voter ID cards

The delay in issuance and rectification of voter identity cards and the numerous mistakes in the document are testing the citizens’ patience. Some of them are so frustrated they have decided not to vote in the upcoming Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections.

Shivanna Angadi, 57, a resident of Nagasandra, is tired of approaching the BBMP for the voter ID card. He applied for it at least thrice but is yet to get lucky. Fed up of the Palike’s apparent laxity, he has decided not to vote. Then, the voter ID cards issued to his family members are replete with errors.

“The voter ID card issued to me had the picture of someone else. I reapplied thrice. I don’t know why the Palike is taking so much time in rectifying the mistake and issuing me a new card. I live with my wife and two daughters, but voter ID cards issued to them mention three different pin codes. The date of birth mentioned on the cards is wrong too,” he said.
Some residents complain of long queues and how indifferent are the authorities who issue the cards. “I gave all the documents and went to the BangaloreOne centre in Shanthinagar twice. But the officials kept delaying. I had voted in the last elections by showing an address proof and other documents. But this time, I have lost interest,” said Umesh, a resident of BTM Layout.

A Palike official in the Rajarajeshwari Nagar zone attributed the delays to staff shortage.
He said that there was no shortage of material such as cards and hologram, but since officials were on election duty, they were unable to devote sufficient time to issuing cards. Most of the Revenue Officers and Assistant Revenue Officers have been deputed for election-related work such as election training programme, setting up counting centres, etc, he added.

According to the Palike, all its officers from the revenue department are on poll duty, with each ARO handling three to five  wards. BBMP Commissioner G Kumar Naik, who is the District Election Officer, was unavailable for comment.

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