Sunday, December 13, 2009

Right to vote for patients and indoor attendants

Bhopal this week had urban body elections. While the election fever was on peak and post election everybody is ‘waiting in wings’ for the results. Dainik Bhaskar, a hindi daily of MP had brought an interesting issue to discourse in its supplement DBSTAR on December 12, 2009 a day after the election was over.

Reporters had surveyed 17 district hospitals of Bhopal and calculated that more than 5547 people could not vote either they themselves were in hospital or they were attending a patient in Bhopal. Out of the hospital surveyed 1564 were patients while 3983 were their attendants. It is not that many did not want to vote, they wanted but there is no mechanism in place to do so. One who were recovering in the hospital were keen to be part of the main process, ones who immobile but still wanted that they should vote. For some it was missing the boat as they were attending to near and dear ones, which was more important. Many of them as per the media report felt that if there is some facility like mobile voting unit or postal ballot, they would like to vote.

If one looks back, election commission had set up a voting station for one voter and three voters during general elections, here in Bhopal it is 5547 voters, figure would go in millions if one adds in cities which needs to look into it. It is their right. It is not that all will favor, it may have opposition but a debate which needs to be taken forward !