In a bid to weed out fake voters ahead of the Assembly elections, the Gujarat Congress has pointed fingers at the electoral roll prepared by the Election Commission. Representatives of the state Election Commission met the Congress delegation, Saturday.
The list, a copy of which was shared with media, includes ghost voters, deceased persons and many voters with the same name. The 127-page memorandum submitted to the EC lists nearly 6,679 voters registered more than once in Mehsana Assembly alone.
Congress chief whip C.J. Chavda alleged: “The voter list has not been prepared properly. Either it is a lapse or a deliberate move and we will approach the court if the mistake is not rectified.”
When asked to explain how nearly 7,000 names have been repeated, he detailed: “Mehsana has 25 Assembly constituencies. A scrutiny revealed the same address in many cases. That means that address has people with more than one voter card. Plus, some names have been added more than once. Over and above, even though many voters have moved out to another place and have not been living in the constituency for over 10 years, their names continue to be registered.”
The Congress claims to have verified the list by a ground recce. Many voters in the 25 Mehsana constituencies are no longer alive. “Who votes for them? Who stands to gain?” Chavda’s open-ended question clearly points fingers at the ruling party.
Congress deputy leader Shailesh Parmar elaborated: “The electoral roll is an integral part of Democracy. If there are flaws in the roll, it can be said with certainty that elections conducted on its basis would also be flawed. We did demand that booth-level officers in every constituency be directed to prepare the voter list. The EC was also requested to take punitive action against booth-level officials who do not deliver correct information. Seems all the directives and rules remained on paper only.”
Both leaders stressed on due diligence from booth-level officers. “Discrepancies in Aadhar card are easy to weed out. Then why should technology not be used to identify the anomalies in fake voter cards,” the duo stated.
In its bid to ensure fair elections, the Congress has verified electoral rolls of all the 182 Assembly constituencies in the state. “We demand that any voter registered at more than one place should immediately be struck off the list. The list revision work begins August 21 and we hope the EC has taken note,” they added.
The EC rules state that eligible voters state can register their name as a voter at only one place. However, the same name being registered in any other constituency amounts to an offence.