Kurnool: Citizen services at mandal offices have been affected due to abnormal increase in requests for deletion of voters’ names, sought under form-7.
Small and marginal farmers, who have been going around tahsildars to get their dotted lands regularised or to make changes in their Pattadar pass books, were cold shouldered as officials turned them away, asking to come after the elections.
Narrating the woes of the revenue staff, Kurnool Tahasildars’ Association president Rajasekhar Babu said that at every mandal headquarter, online requests for deletion of voters’ names have been piling up and the staff have been giving utmost importance to solve the issue.
In Kadapa, the situation has been worse as some tahsildars received requ-ests in thousands, an official said. He said that applications seeking deletion of voters’ names have been choking the revenue administration.
Filling of form-7 in thousands at different tahsildar offices made them to stop other works. Villagers seeking regularisation of land records were turned down and the contract staff have been inadequate. He asked the people not to panic as the collector has the authority to delete only 100 votes per one lakh.
Rajasekhar Babu, however, said that once the application for deletion is received, it is forwarded to the block-level officer to verify at the ground-level. Then, the person who seeks deletion is summoned to the office and his deposition is video recorded and acknowledgement is taken to that effect, he said.
He said that at one mandal, a person belonging to a political party gave an application for deletion of 90 names, citing various reasons, as the voter was not resident and had no connection with the village.
M.N. Reddy, a retired professor, said that if you are not an active voter, it is your responsibility to get your name off the voters list. “If your name is present and you do not exercise your rights to vote, it will lead to malpractice and bogus voting which will change the fate of politics in India. For fair voting, check the voters’ list right away and delete your name if you have to,” he said.
He said that the government’s recent directive, that allows 10 agencies to monitor citizens’ digital footprints, along with reports of ‘leaks’ from the Aadhaar database will disincentivise people from using digital channels, especially government initiatives, to collect data. This case is yet another instance of why people in India need to be wary of trusting the government with their data. This trust deficit may also seriously impact India’s digital revolution.
Nagendranath, an advocate, said that delaying the promulgation of a data protection law is the root cause of such breaches as there is no robust mechanism to hold the perpetrators accountable.