EC office reply on voter list contradicts CM Arvind Kejriwal’s claimshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/ec-voter-list-cm-arvind-kejriwal-5603855/

EC office reply on voter list contradicts CM Arvind Kejriwal’s claims

The Chief Minister had claimed the AAP was told by the Election Commission of India (ECI) that names of 24 lakh voters were struck off the rolls in the last four years.

AAP had claimed that names of 24 lakh voters were struck off the rolls in last four years. (File)

The Delhi government told the Delhi Assembly that names of 11.54 lakh voters have been deleted from the electoral rolls since 2015, and 18.45 lakh names added.

Minister Imran Hussain, who holds the election portfolio, shared the numbers in response to an unstarred question raised by Opposition leader Vijender Gupta, who said this “flies in the face of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s claims”. The data was shared with the minister by the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer’s office. In response to a question raised by AAP MLA Anil Bajpai, Hussain said caste-wise details of voters are not maintained.

The Chief Minister had claimed the AAP was told by the Election Commission of India (ECI) that names of 24 lakh voters were struck off the rolls in the last four years. The party claims that names of lakhs of Poorvanchalis, Baniyas and Muslims have been selectively purged from the list.

As per Hussain’s submission in the House, the deletions in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are 4,51,469; 2,27,141; 98,363 and 3,77,359 respectively, totalling to 11,54,332 deletions. The addtions in the correspinding years stand at 7,32,812; 4,15,856; 4,60,450 and 2,35,593, which amounts to a net addition of 6,90,379 when the deletions are accounted for.

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Gupta and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia clashed in the House after the former tabled a communication received from the ECI by the Delhi Chief Secretary. Sisodia sought to know how Gupta managed to get hold of the letter.

The ECI letter came in response to a resolution passed by the House on November 27, 2018, wherein it was alleged the CEO office had “suo-motu” deleted names of thousands of voters, without following due norms to “favour a particular political party”.

“The House also resolves that the Delhi government should conduct inquiries into all deleted voters who are subsequently found genuine and fix the responsibility of the erring officials and submit a report before this House within a period of three months,” the resolution added.

The ECI responded on December 14, citing the laid-down guidelines that govern deletion and addition of voters, while adding, “Directions to the CEO and the directions for disciplinary action against the election officials are not as per provisions of the Law…” Gupta said the ECI letter was “deliberately not being tabled” in the House as it goes against AAP’s assertions. Speaker Ram Niwas Goel took the letter into record of the House after Gupta tabled it.