Anomalies in list of reserved categories in Telangana municipal elections

Hyderabad: The list of voters of reserved categories — SC, ST and BC — is full of anomalies as hundreds of voters belonging to one community have been shown as some other caste. According to the latest draft of voters list, several lapses came to light. Local leaders and public complained against the errors in the draft list. Based on the social status of voters, the municipal wards will be allocated based on reservations. However, the mistakes in the record showing voters belonging to the different community will hamper the reservation criterion.

“Due to the negligence of officials, OC voters are shown as BCs. SC voters as BCs. BC voters as OC and STs. Leaders are acting behind the scene to get the ward reservations in favour of their communities. The nexus between leaders and officials led to such discrepancies in the draft of voters list showing voters as their choice of the community so that reservation of wards would be decided accordingly,” said a political analyst.

Even open places in towns are shown as houses and added number of bogus voters in the list. Several lists comprise voters’ names as single word letters such as ‘pa, ma, na, and dot’. Names of deceased voters were not deducted from the list as well.

Elections in 120 Municipalities and ten municipal corporations will be held on January 22, 2020, in Telangana.

The officials did not follow any scientific method to identify voters of SC, ST and BC categories. The officials generally focus on preparing the list of voters for three days after the announcement of election schedule to identify the electorate. Usually, Bill Collectors would take up this responsibility. Taking help of a few local leaders, the Bill Collectors prepare the list of voters at their office. Going by the surnames and professions, the officials decide on the caste of voters. Further, local political leaders put pressure on officials to prepare the list of voters favouring the specific communities of their choice.

For instance, over 450 voters are shown as SCs in the 25th ward in Karimnagar Corporation. More than 150 complaints have been registered in Vikarabad Municipality. The list is endless, as every municipality received complaints about the errors in the voters’ list.

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