‘ We lack the part of democratic process ’
They lived in Delhi for 22 years before moving to Kolkata in 2010,
but Amiya Kumar Pal and wife Kalyani keep visiting the national
capital off and on for business. Personal constraints and job
requirements mean the couple have not been able to register their
names under the Jadavpur assembly and Lok Sabha constituency in
Bengal, even though their son and daughter are enrolled as
voters in Kolkata.
"We miss voting in Kolkata. I have always been attracted by the level of political consciousness in this city. I had booked flight tickets to travel to Delhi, where we are currently registered as electors, so that I could vote in the 2015 Delhi assembly elections.
"But I missed voting in two game-changing elections - the one in 2011, which saw Trinamool Congress come to power for the first time in Bengal, and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when some pressing family matters stopped me from travelling to Delhi," says Amiya, ruing the loss of his votes because he is not registered in Bengal.
"Ideally, I would like to cast my vote in the 2019 parliamentary polls. I have booked tickets for Delhi in April on some official work. But a family member is to be hospitalised around the same time for an operation. So, I might miss voting again," said Amiya.
Kalyani says she had voted earlier in her Deshapriya Park locality in Kolkata before moving to Delhi. "The booth-level party workers do not knock on our doors anymore as they know our votes are not here. I miss being part of the democratic process. I wish we had a system where I could have voted from Delhi for my constituency in Bengal," she told TOI.
The couple have decided that if they do not indeed get to vote in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, they will ensure they get their vote transferred to Kolkata before 2021 state polls.