Burqa queue: Why did the police register a case against the BJP candidate in Hyderabad on ECI's request? Explanatory news


As votes were being cast in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Monday (May 13), BJP candidate Madhavi Latha was caught on video in Hyderabad. is asking The veil-Worning women voters to remove their veils so that he can verify their identity.

The Hyderabad police have registered an FIR against Latha under IPC sections related to undue influence in election (171C), obstructing a public servant (186), and intent to incite ( 505(1)(c)), and section 132 of the representation. People's Act, 1951 (Misconduct at Polling Station).

Voters who cover their faces.

While face coverings have long been politicized, women who wear them. Snail or The veil Have always voted in Indian elections.

Before the first Lok Sabha elections in 1951–52, the Election Commission of India (ECI) worked hard to ensure that women participated fully in India's democratic process – however, many women did not. refused to register with their names, and were instead asked to identify themselves. Relation to a male member of the family, as the mother of so-and-so or the wife of so-and-so.

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This was because, according to local customs, women in these areas were reluctant to reveal their real names to strangers… Out of the country's total of about 80 million voters, about 2.8 million eventually did. I failed, and the entries relating to them had to be deleted from the rolls,” wrote the first Chief Election Commissioner Sukumar Sen in his report on the election.

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After a sustained campaign by ECI, the number of women in the voter lists increased steadily. Today, women make up about 49 percent of the electorate.

Women's identity in the burqa

It is the ECI's mandate to conduct free and fair elections, including ensuring that no bogus votes are cast. If necessary, the polling officers must verify the appearance of the voter against the photograph on the voter card.

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To ensure that this is done while protecting the privacy of women voters. Snail/ Burqa/ The veilThe ECI has issued standing instructions for returning officers of constituencies and presiding officers of polling stations:

“If a sufficient number of 'The presenter' (burqa wearing) women voters assigned to your polling station, you should make special arrangements for their identification and indelible ink on the left index finger in a separate enclosure respecting privacy, dignity. I shall be indelibly inked by the Lady Polling Officer. And modesty.”

ECI's Handbook for Presiding Officers says, “For such special enclosures you can use locally available but inexpensive materials.”

The ECI's Handbook for Returning Officers says: “Availability of women polling officers should be examined for appointment of presiding/polling officers in polling stations specially designed for women voters or where the number of women voters, Especially, The presenter Women are big, there should be at least one lady polling officer who can identify and facilitate women voters.

Action by Madhavi Latha

The responsibility and right to verify the identity of voters rests with the ECI, not the contesting candidate.

Candidates or their polling agents are allowed access to the polling stations in the constituency, to ensure that the polling process is conducted without interference. However, they are not allowed to interfere in the voting process.

Madhavi Latha's action was seen as interference and hence the police registered a case against her at the behest of the ECI.

© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd

Damini Nath, The Indian Express

Damini Nath is an Assistant Editor in the National Bureau of The Indian Express. She covers housing and urban affairs and Election Commission beats. He has 11 years of experience as a reporter and sub-editor. Before joining The Indian Express in 2022, she was a reporter on culture, social justice, housing and urban affairs and the Election Commission in The Hindu's national bureau. … read more

First uploaded by: 13-05-2024 at 19:49 IST



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