Muslims, Dalits Find It Harder To Stay On The Rolls
The Hindu|March 28, 2019
Muslims, Dalits Find It Harder To Stay On The Rolls

Shift of residence, forced resettlement, politically motivated applications for deletion cited as reasons for many missing names.

Aloysius Xavier Lopez

Maybe they were poor and their representations for inclusion went unheeded. Maybe they didn’t care to give representations for enrolment. Or, maybe they were the victims of a political conspiracy. Whatever the reason, Muslims and Dalits find themselves left out of the electoral rolls in greater proportion relative to their population than other communities.

When Harbour MLA P.K. Sekar Babu of the DMK received petitions alleging that the names of several Muslims in his constituency in Chennai were missing, he decided to check if the charge was true. A random check led him to conclude that several names were not in the electoral rolls, and he decided to take up the issue with the District Election Officer.

But, while work on including the missing names started a few months ago, many of the Muslim voters who complained are still waiting for their names to be included on the rolls, keeping their fingers crossed and hoping it would be done before the Lok Sabha election.

“Electoral officials said the deletion of names of Muslims was unintentional,” said Mr. Babu. “The names would be included after the application forms for inclusion of names are processed. Most of the voters have submitted the application forms. The names are expected to be included in the supplementary roll.” The supplementary rolls will be released in a few days.


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March 28, 2019