EC admits fake voters,but clueless on how to clean the mess

While the State Election Commission survey in Garia reveals that the allegations by the Trinamool were ‘partly true’ as 53 voters were found having almost the same Electoral Photo Identity Card numbers...

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Published:March 26, 2009 2:34 am

While the State Election Commission survey in Garia reveals that the allegations by the Trinamool were ‘partly true’ as 53 voters were found having almost the same Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) numbers,the question regarding the remaining of the 46,000 ‘fake voters’ as claimed by Mamata Banerjee remains unanswered.

Banerjee had submitted a list of voters to the EC saying that the electoral rolls of south Kolkata and Jadavpur constituencies include 46,000 ‘fake voters’. The EC teams,carrying a list of 120 voters provided by Banerjee,found at least 53 of them with the same EPIC number.

“The Trinamool’s allegation is partly true. However,we have several voters who are genuine but somehow have been included in the electoral roll with an identical EPIC number,” said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Debashis Sen.

Asked about the rest of the 46,000 ‘fake voters’,the CEO said after receiving the commission’s response on the report,he will act accordingly as carrying out survey for 46,000 voters is not possible in a short period of time.

There are some voters,whose names are listed in the electoral roll of two adjacent polling booths. According to Sen,actions will be taken against the offenders after EC sends its recommendations and suggestions on the report.

The survey report says that 46 voters have the same EPIC number — WB/18/108/595,which according to Sen,is an invalid number as there has to be six digits after the third slash in the EPIC numbers.

“It may be an error that the last three digits are missing in the EPIC number. The numbers are invalid and after receiving the commission’s recommendations,we will issue new EPICs to them,” said Sen.

He added that many voters with EPIC number — WB/18/180/000595 — include some genuine voters like Chitranjan Banerjee and Amitava Banerjee,whose photos are matching the photo in the EPIC.

However,there is also a case of Krishna Singh,who is living in the area but actually is a resident of Bihar. He has been casting his votes for last 20 years without any EPIC and identity proof.

“Such cases will be verified specially. We will investigate further on the issue,” said Sen.

No vote polled for 30 years in Charjatra Sidhi
A team of Election Commission,led by Chief Electoral officer Debashis Sen,will visit Charjatra Siddhi,a disputed portion of land that was in the Hooghly constituency till 1960. After the river Hooghly changed its course,90 per cent of the land has come under Nadia district causing confusion in issuing EPIC to the residents.

Charjatra Siddhi has around 1800 voters,who have not cast their votes for the last 30 years,as they do not know to which constituency they actually belong. “It is a complex case,I will see what can be done for 1800-odd voters,” said Sen.

The EC has also instructed Sen to ensure that the candidates submit their affidavits,disclosing details of movable and immovable properties and criminal antecedents. “It is compulsory for all candidates to submit affidavits. However,most of the affidavits are hand written and not legible. Hence it should be typed,” said Sen.

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