Hyderabad, March (IANS) Telangana's Minister for Municipal Administration K.T. Rama Rao on Wednesday sought immediate intervention of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in restoring the names of 35,000 electors who were deleted from eight wards of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB).
The state minister wrote to Rajnath Singh to restore the names o the electors and help them participate in the democratic exercise of voting. Elections for the SCB members are scheduled on April 30.
Stating that SCB has deleted about 35,000 electors' names from the voters' list on the ground that the said persons allegedly encroached on the defense land, KTR said that it is a completely illegal and unconstitutional act as none of the electors whose names were deleted from the electors' list were given any show cause notice before the deleting their names from the list.
"These electors and their families have been residing in Secunderabad Cantonment Board limits over the past 75 years. Such incidents are intimidating these electors as such an act is indirectly or directly posing a threat to their identity, while they are very much the citizens of India who are residing in Telangana state," said KTR.
The minister said that like every other responsible citizen of the country, the voters from SCB have showcased utmost sincerity in executing all their duties which includes payment of electricity and water bills.
He said that these electors have been exercising their right to vote in various elections, which include SCB elections, Assembly elections, and also Parliamentary elections.
KTR said that the relevant law relating to the preparation of the voter list for a Cantonment is contained in Sections 27 and 28 of the Cantonment Act.
Stating that he firmly believes that none of the electors breached these sections but are unfortunately being penalised by the SCB by removing their names from the voters' list arbitrarily, he said that so far, no court in the country gave a judgement that declares any of these individuals to be a non-resident of the SCB.
Neither the SCB has ever issued a notice to any of these persons indicating that they are not a resident or an inhabitant of a Cantonment Board.
"The SCB cannot snatch away the right to vote and the right to contest in the election. By removing the names of the voters from the list, SCB has outrightly violated Article 14 of the Constitution. Under such unconstitutional circumstances, it is unfortunate to see SCB walk backward when it comes to recognizing its voters. With pain, I state that there has been no increase in voter numbers in SCB since 5 years. In 2018, 1,91,849 voters have now been reduced to 1,32,722 voters," wrote KTR.