KANNIYAKUMARI: Fishermen in Kanniyakumari have demanded exclusive polling for those from their community whose names were allegedly deleted from the electoral list en masse in the just concluded voting for the Lok Sabha elections in the state.
Alleging mass deletion of their votes by the ruling parties in the state and at the Centre, the fishermen representatives led by Fr Churchil of the South Asian Fishermen Fraternity and Selvaraj of
Makkal Pathai submitted a petition to the Kanniyakumari district collector and district election officer, Prashant M Wadnere demanding an exclusive polling for those whose names were deleted from the rolls.
Later speaking to media, the fishermen’s representatives said that around 37,571 fishermen votes in the 48 coastal hamlets from Neerodi to Arockiyapuram in Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency was deliberately removed out of fear that the fishermen would vote against the lone. Union minister, Pon Radhakrishnan, contesting in the constituency. The coastal fishermen too complained that votes of inland fishermen in 68 more villages too have been ‘deliberately removed’.
The fishermen, however, refused to accept their lethargy in verifying their names in the voters’ list that was revised on yearly basis since 2016 after the Assembly election.
They alleged that their names were removed only a few days before the polling day. The district election officer, however, receiving the petition told the fishermen that he would forward their complaint to the chief electoral officer and to the Election Commission of India, who are authorized to decide on the issue.
Though none of the major opposition parties including the DMK and the Congress came out in public supporting the fishermen’s complaint that 37,000 names were deleted just a few days before the election, they agreed to the demand of the fishermen for an exclusive poll for the missing electorates.