This Sunday turned out to be full of chaos for the residents of several societies in Greater Noida West who have been eagerly waiting to receive their updated voter ID cards.
Several residents received an SMS early morning through an unknown number informing them to collect their voter ID cards form their polling booths. The message mentioned their name, voter ID number and respective polling booths. It further read, “‘please collect your voter ID card from block level officers (BLOs) at your polling booth today (March 17) between 10 am to 4pm.’
Nearly 200 residents rushed to the booth at Ryan International School in Greater Noida West, but the BLOs present there did not have any idea about it.
The residents said that the booth had no staff to even inform them whether they will receive their cards or not. The residents even had verbal arguments with BLOs present there.
Expressing her anger, Ayushi Anand, a resident of Greater Noida West, tweeted, “utterly disappointed by the mismanagement of election commission. First, they message that voter IDs can be collected from the booth today b/w 10am to 4pm. Upon reaching the booth we find that BLO has already left.”
Sharing his ordeal with City Spidey, Prateek Khator, a resident of Panchsheel Greens, said, “I received the same message through IM-GBNAGAR. As I am yet to receive my voter ID Card, I reached the booth at around 12 pm and found nearly 200 people waiting for the same. There was no one to help us out. After waiting for nearly three hours, I returned home empty handed.”
RK Pandey, another resident of Panchsheel Greens, said, “We tried to contact officials on 0120-2444442 but couldn’t get any response. I wasted my entire holiday and got nothing.”
To ascertain whether the messages were sent by district election officials, City Spidey spoke to a couple of BLOs appointed in Greater Noida West, but they had no idea about them. “We did not send any messages to the residents,” said a BLO requesting not to be named.
He further added that in many societies voter ID correction camps were organised a few days back without informing BLOs. “Those who had organised these camps are associated with political parties and while filling out the forms they had collected residents’ mobile numbers also. As a rule, voter ID camps cannot be organised in the absence of BLOs but it happened here and later they asked us to accept these forms.”
Chaman Lal, another BLO said, “On Saturday, we received a bundle of voter ID cards from Tehseel office, which need to be delivered to the residents by April 5. It is our duty to visit each society and handover voter ID cards. Then why will we send such messages to call people to the booth.”
Surprisingly, one of the residents said that the number by which they received SMS is the same one via which they had in the past received information about the visit of GB Nagar MP, Mahesh Sharma and his various campaign visit details. “There are two numbers which are circulating these messages —IM-GB NAGAR (46426247) and BW-GBNAGAR (29426247),” added the resident.
City Spidey also spoke to Rakesh Kumar, assistant district election officer (GB Nagar), on the issue. “BLOs are directed to informed people regarding their voter ID cards but if such messages are circulated through any private number it is completely illegal. I will investigate the issue and then will be able to comment on it,” said Kumar.