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Congress Alleges 70 Lakh Discrepancies in Telangana Voter List, Seeks EC's Intervention

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the state dissolved the Telangana assembly prematurely to swing elections in their favour by "manipulating" the voter list, the Congress alleged.

PTI

Updated:October 6, 2018, 9:11 AM IST
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Congress Alleges 70 Lakh Discrepancies in Telangana Voter List, Seeks EC's Intervention
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi addresses a press conference in Delhi.
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New Delhi: The Congress Sunday alleged that there were around 70 lakh discrepancies in the voter list in Telangana and said any election held on "flawed and inaccurate" electoral rolls would be a "fraud" with the people of the country.

The party has also sought the Election Commission's intervention in the "strongest possible manner", Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the state dissolved the Telangana assembly prematurely to swing elections in their favour by "manipulating" the voter list, he alleged.

Sources indicated that the Congress might move court to ensure that the alleged discrepancies and anomalies in the electoral rolls are corrected before any election is held in the state.

The Congress has already moved a petition in the Supreme Court on alleged discrepancies in electoral rolls in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where polls are due this year-end.

Singhvi alleged that out of the total 70 lakh discrepancies, names of over 30 lakh voters were duplicated and 20 lakh deleted on the pretext that they have left for Andhra Pradesh. The same have not been added to the voter list of Andhra Pradesh, he claimed.

The Congress leader alleged that names of around 18 lakh voters were found in the electoral rolls of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Singhvi said the Congress has demanded that a thorough process of verification and sanitisation of the voter list be initiated before any elections are announced.

"Any election held on the basis of these deeply and deliberately flawed and inaccurate voter list would undermine the entire process and would lead to a distorted mandate. It would be a fraud on democracy and on the people of the country.

"It will not only further deepen the doubts of the common electorate in the electoral process, owing to such glaring anomalies, but will further erode the faith that the people of this country need to have in the institution of the Election Commission," he told reporters.

Training his guns on the outgoing Telengana government and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), he alleged it is clear that the caretaker chief minister is sacrificing the integrity of the elections for the sake of petty political ambitions.

"Did the KCR government dissolve the Telangana assembly prematurely to swing elections in their favour by manipulating 70 lakh votes through contamination of the voter list," Singhvi asked.

The Congress MP said the Supreme Court's remark that "purity of the elections is essence of democracy and pure electoral rolls is the hallmark of purity" is being sent for a "systematically manipulated toss" in Telangana.

Rao, who rushed to announce the dates for the Telangana assembly elections, has deliberately chosen to ignore the numerous discrepancies in the voter list, which disenfranchise lakhs of eligible voters, he alleged.

This also completely erodes the integrity of the polls, whenever they are conducted, Singhvi said.

"By dissolving the assembly early, KCR has interfered with the process whereby these discrepancies and inaccuracies would have been corrected," he said.

The revised electoral roll was published on September 10. This has given the people and other political parties a mere four-week time to identify and highlight these issues by October 8, Singhvi said.

"This is travesty, as earlier a period of four months had been envisaged by the Election Commission (EC) to come up with a properly revised electoral roll," he said.

Singhvi also said on September 14, Congress leader Shashidhar Reddy and Ravi Shankar Jandhyala led a delegation to highlight the above issues and lack of time to rectify the numerous inaccuracies in the voter list.

However, the EC has chosen to maintain silence on the matter, he alleged.

The Congress leader said the EC, which is charged under Article 324 of the Constitution to ensure the sanctity of voter rolls, cannot choose to be a silent spectator on this grave issue.

The party demands that the poll panel goes all out to restore faith by pro-actively attending to concerns of all stakeholders in an election, Singhvi said.

"Failing, which like many other institutions, another institution of impeccable integrity would lose its credibility permanently under the decidedly and designedly subversion being undertaken in this dark Modi era," he said.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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