KTR Letter : Minister KTR has written a letter to Union Minister Rajnath Singh to include the names of 35 thousand voters removed in the cantonment. The letter stated that the central government should take a positive decision in this regard. KTR explained in the letter that the names of 35,000 citizens under the cantonment were illegally removed from the voter list. It was written in the letter that even those who are eligible have been removed from the voter’s list on the baseless ground that they are living illegally in the land under the control of the Defense Department under the cantonment. > An illegal and unconstitutional de-voting program has been carried out to violate the rights of families permanently settled under the Cantonment Board for 75 years since independence. They were removed from the voter list without giving any show cause notice to the removed voters or their families. Depriving them of the constitutional right to vote is encroachment, questioning their existence as citizens of India and permanently residing in the state of Telangana. They have been paying taxes and bills for decades as responsible citizens to Cantonment Board, Electricity Department and Water Supply Department. In the past, they exercised their right to vote in Cantonment Board Elections and Legislative Assembly Parliament Elections. But now the Cantonment Board has unilaterally removed them from the voter list to deprive them of their rights.
KTR stated in the letter that the reason given by the Cantonment Board that they are staying illegally is not reasonable. So far, no court in the country, nor the Cantonment Board itself, has officially decided that they are living illegally. In KTR’s letter, KTR questioned that it is unfair to directly remove the removed voters from the voter list without proving that they are residing illegally. It is unfortunate that if there were 1,91,849 voters in 2018, today their number has reduced to 1,32,722. Due to such anti-constitutional actions by the Secunderabad Cantonment Board, the number of citizens in the voter list has decreased in the last five years in Secunderabad Cantonment unlike anywhere else in India. KTR appealed in the letter to provide an opportunity to 35 thousand voters to participate in the democratic process and to include them back in the voter list.
Secunderabad cantonment is the second largest cantonment in the country. It has 8 wards and a population of 4 lakh people. The board consists of 8 ward members elected by local people. There will be 9 members appointed by the Department of Defence. So the defense department has the upper hand in decisions. The activities of the Board are governed by the Cantonment Act, 2006. Tirumalagiri, East Maredupalli, Hakeempet, Karkhana, Boinpally, Kaukuru, Bollaram areas come under Secunderabad Cantonment.
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