Differently abled persons forced to opt for postal ballots: TARATDAC

If people do not give consent for postal ballots, they were being forced to give in writing that they were not willing to go for postal ballots, says association general secretary

Differently abled persons in various parts of the State were being forced to opt for postal ballots introduced for the first time for them in the ensuing Assembly election, complained Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC).

Addressing journalists in Virudhunagar on Sunday, its state general secretary, S. Namburajan, said that the association had welcomed the new move as it would help bed-ridden persons and people who have difficulty in their mobility. “However, in the last few days, Government employees were visiting the differently-abled persons at their houses with the form to give consent opting for postal ballots and compelling them to sign those papers,” he alleged. Such incidents have occurred in Tiruvannamalai, Krishnagiri, Thoothukudi and Thanjavur districts.

“We have received complaints from people that if they do not give consent for postal ballots, they were being forced to give in writing that they were not willing to go for postal ballots,” Mr. Namburajan said.

Once the differently abled person signs the consent form for postal ballots, he/she will lose the right to visit the polling booth. He charged that Election Commission, which has to provide a hindrance-free environment for the aged and the differently abled persons at the polling booths, wanted to ignore its responsibility and was acting against the rights of differently abled persons.

The facility of postal ballots should be an option to those who could not make it to the polling booth based on their choice. However, the way the officials were dealing with postal ballots was against the independence of 10 lakh differently abled persons in the State, he charged. The Election Commission should order to stop such anti-democratic activities of the Government employees, he said.

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