CHENNAI: Tension prevailed in the Harbour constituency for a while as at least 400 people, mostly from the Muslim community, were not allowed to vote as their names were not found in the electoral roll. This, despite many finding their names in the online electoral roll, but they were missing in the official hard copy at the booth. This led to protests outside the Measi School booth for a few hours.
The men and women raised slogans alleging that it was a ploy to remove “Islamic votes” to help a particular candidate. About 25,000 Muslims live in Harbour and they constitute a major vote bank.
While many protested, most women voters left disappointed. “We leave all our work and come for voting. How long can we wait in the sun?” asked a 66-year-old woman.
Similarly, a 76-year-old man said he has cast vote in more than 10 elections in the Harbour constituency, with the most recent one being the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. “I was shocked to find my name missing,” he said. Members of the Jamaat joined the protest along with members of OBC communities, who also said their names were missing.
Express contacted Corporation Commissioner G Prakash, but he did not respond.
No booth slips
Failure to provide booth slips left many voters disappointed after they were turned away by the officials.
In Nanganallur, ICDS centre, 60-year-old S Padma, who was waiting at the polling booth from 6.45 am to cast vote, was disappointed after the officials turned her way asking for her roll number.
Padma said, “The Election Commission failed to provide booth slips and not everyone carry their mobile phones to check their booths and number.” K Anandhi who came to Thiruvanmiyur booth had to contact party for collecting the details. MNM candidate from Tambaram constituency Siva Elango also said that slips were not provided at Seventh Day Adventist Higher Secondary School in West Tambaram.