Mistakes in voter cards leave Kalahandi family in a fix

Kalahandi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) is making all arrangements to increase the voters’ turnout in the upcoming 2019 elections. However, several members of a family in Odisha are now in a fix whether they can exercise thier franchise in the upcoming polls or not owing to mistakes in thier voter cards.

All the family members of Sibaram Naik from Talagaon under Kokasara block in Kalahandi district have been issued electors photo identity cards (EPICs). However, as different addresses have been mentioned in their voter ID cards, the family is facing lot of hardships as banks and other government offices are rejecting the document.

Sibaram alleged, “The address mentioned in my voter ID card is Bheluajor instead of Badapodaguda while my wife’s address is mentioned as Badapodaguda. Similarly, the voter card of my son has Bheluajor village while his wife’s voter ID identifies her to be resident of Teliguda.”

“I do not understand to which village I belong. Be it bank or any government work, wherever I produce the document, it is not being accepted as the address on the voter ID card is wrong,” he added.

Not only Shibaram’s family, many other villagers of Talagaon have come up with similar complaints. The villagers have alleged that despite repeated complaints to the concerned authorities, no steps have been taken for the correction of such errors in their voter ID cards.

“I am from Talagaon but my voter ID card mentions Bheluajor. Due to such error in the voter card, I am not able to open an account in the bank. I went to Block Development Officer (BDO) and even complained the district Collector for necessary corrections but they are only delaying the matter. We do not know whether we can exercise our franchise or not,” alleged another villager Bhajman Naik.

Meanwhile, the villagers have threatened to boycott elections if the errors in their voter ID cards are not rectified at the earliest. On the other hand, the BDO has assured that steps will be taken to resolve such issues.

“If the mistakes on our voter ID cards are not rectified, we will not cast our votes,” threatened a villager of Talagaon.

Koksara BDO, Basanta Kumar Sethi said, “They should have applied after the issuance of the ID cards. However, the correction can also be made now.”