Voter deletion claim calls create panic, against fair elections: Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officerhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/voter-deletion-claim-calls-create-panic-against-fair-elections-chief-electoral-officer-of-delhi-ranbir-singh-5579031/

Voter deletion claim calls create panic, against fair elections: Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer

"Names that get removed are of people who have either died, are registered in multiple places, or don’t live at the address provided by them anymore. There are no grounds for deletion on the basis of caste, creed, religion, etc," Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi Ranbir Singh said.

Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh

Amid AAP’s claims on deletion of voter names from Delhi’s electoral rolls, and the poll body red-flagging “misleading phone calls” to people, Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi Ranbir Singh explains why they approached police over the issue.

AAP has alleged names of several voters are missing from electoral rolls. Has the election commission looked into this?

Electoral rolls are prepared under strict guidelines laid down in the Representation of People Act, and revised under statutory provisions. Names that get removed are of people who have either died, are registered in multiple places, or don’t live at the address provided by them anymore. There are no grounds for deletion on the basis of caste, creed, religion, etc.

The authority to add or delete any name is only with the electoral registration officer. Calls which claim that a political party can get names removed or restored are misleading and do not come within the bounds of law. They also create panic and are not in the interest of free and fair elections.

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What were the findings of the verification survey carried out in parts of Tughlakabad after the AAP’s claims?

It was found that certain names were deleted from the list. All these names were checked and it was found that deletions were done according to statutory procedures. Updation of electoral rolls is a continuous exercise. Deletion happens during summary revision. Officials hold an extensive, on-ground exercise. If a person cannot be found at home despite several visits and people in the area cannot confirm he stays there, which in a city like Delhi is common, a notice is issued. If no reply is received, a hearing is held. If no one attends the hearing, the name is deleted.

AAP has alleged you complained to police after a BJP delegation met EC officials, giving it a political colour.

The BJP delegation did not meet me but the Chief Election Commissioner. The complaint was made several days later. In any case, for the Election Commission, all political parties are important stakeholders. If they raise an issue, it is taken seriously. Today, a Congress delegation met me and complained about the same thing. Questioning our motives is only a political statement. When AAP alleged names of voters were deleted erroneously, we took them seriously and held a verification exercise.

How do people check if their name has been deleted and, if so, how can it be restored?

People can call 1950 or check their name on http://www.nsvp.in or send an SMS to 7738299899 with their EPIC number.

If the name is missing, people have to fill form 6, which is available on the website and apply. The form can also be submitted at the constituency voter centre.