Ellenabad (Haryana)

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In Ellenabad, unmarried girls can’t vote

The Times of India

Saurabh Prashar | TNN

Ellenabad: Here’s a slice of strange reality from unchanging India: Ramni Devi (19) of Mallenka village wants to vote but can’t. She is not the only one. A large number of eligible but unmarried women in Ellenabad assembly constituency won’t be able to choose their representative because men here do not allow them to enter Election Commission office to get photographed for their voter I-cards.

Single women here constitute a significant number. According to a senior official of Sirsa administration, 5% of 66,841 female voters enrolled in Ellenabad are unmarried. But their not voting does not bother anyone here. Says Bhagi Devi (35), ‘‘My parents didn’t allow me a voter I-card although I was eligible. I got one only after I got married.’’ Her husband Dalip Beniwal said his niece too wanted to be enrolled as voter, but she was told to buzz off.

Dalip Singh, a patwari, said people of Jat and Bagri belts don’t allow girls to get voter cards before marriage as they consider it humiliating. And a large chunk of 25 registered unmarried female voters from this constituency are Punjabis.

Meanwhile, a smiling Ramni Devi said she would wait for husband to get her name registered in the electoral rolls.

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