MANGALURU: Democratic Ambassador for All India Rural Integrity (DAARI) has requested the Election Commission to enrol beggars across the state as voters and until then stop all election process.
In a letter to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sanjeev Kumar, DAARI convenor Ravi Bangera said that about 5 percent of state's population are into begging and a majority of them have not been enrolled as voters. They are eking out their living by begging in bus stands, railway stations and other places and do not have a shelter.
He said even those beggars who are put up in rehabilitation centres run by the government and private organisations have not been enrolled as voters on the pretext that they do not have an address proof.
"Aren't they not the citizens of India and eligible to vote?," asked Bangera.
The letter said that when he brought to the notice of present and previous deputy commissioners of Dakshina Kannada about beggars not having voter ID cards, they said they said that since they do not have houses, they have not been given the voter Ids. Why will they become beggars if they have a house?
Bangera also said that according to the Indian Constitution, it is the duty of the government to provide shelter for people.
In this background, he says that there is no logic in not giving voting rights to beggars for not having houses and hence all of them have to be enrolled as voters.
Keeping the neglected sections out of election process does not auger well for a democracy. Till then, he has requested Election Commission to put the election process on hold.
Bagera said four days after he submitted the letter through email, he had contacted CEO Sanjeev Kumar to know about the action taken.
He said the CEO promised to flag the issue before the Chief Election Commissioner during his visit to the state during this week.