Religious and ethnic minorities from the Shiroda Constituency are up in arms against what they allege as the mischievous and deliberate deletion of their names from the Electoral Rolls.
Out of the approximate 3000 people whose names are supposedly missing or deleted from the rolls, about 2000 or about 70 per cent of them hail either from religious minorities and ethnic minorities or are from the SC and ST categories.
Out of these 70 per cent, Catholics and Muslims form the bulk of the religious minorities whose names were deleted due to accidental or technical errors.
While the Catholics are from the Shiroda Panchayat area, the Muslims are from Duttagad in the Bethoda Panchayat area. There are about 7000 registered Catholic voters, out of about 29,000 total voters in the constituency, while Muslims voters number around 2500.
Grouping together under the banner of the Shiroda Minorities Cell, they have decided to appeal to the State Election Commission and ensure that their names are re-instated in the Revised Electoral Rolls. They have approached several politicians from the Opposition parties, demanding their support.
The Shiroda Minorities Cell has also requested a local social worker and Shiroda Congress leader Adv Diya Shetkar for her help in getting their names reinstated. “We have approached a known social worker from the area, Adv Diya Shetkar via a request letter which has been emailed to her and have requested her to take up this issue,” Wendy Rodrigues who is heading the Shiroda Minorities Cell told IndiaScoops.com. However, we are still to receive a response from Adv Diya Shetkar, she explained, but was confident of a positive reply.
Working hand-in-hand with the Shiroda People’s Forum (SPF) which has launched a mass awareness programme in the entire Shiroda constituency to ensure that the 3000-plus missing and new voters are added to the Revised Electoral Roll 2019 in the grace window period provided by the State Election Commission, the minorities – the majority of whom are Catholics and Muslims from Shiroda are striving to ensure that all the names which were dropped are reinstated within the time frame provided.
More than 3000 names of old voters from Shiroda could be missing from the Revised Electoral Roll 2019, the final copy of which will be released on 5th January 2019, a majority of them due to technical errors and some of them due to mischief by other vested interests.
Nearly 25-30 percent first-time voters have not yet been enrolled from Shiroda itself, explained Pascal Rodrigues, a resident of Karai Village in Shiroda and co-convenor of the Shiroda People’s Forum.
Speaking to media persons, Rodrigues said that the SPF is not affiliated to any political party. We want both the main political parties in Goa to ensure that voters are enlisted in the voting roll and will be meeting Congress leaders in the New Year to apprise them of the situation.