Warning people against “misleading calls” over deletion of their names from electoral rolls, the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi issued a statement Saturday, clarifying that no other authority can add or delete names from the electoral list. The move came a day after a BJP delegation met the Chief Election Commissioner and alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been making such phone calls.
“The citizens of Delhi are hereby advised to beware of such misleading calls coming from unknown persons/entities/sources. The only authority to add or delete a name in the electoral roll is Electoral Registration Officer… Separate legal action as required/deemed appropriate is being taken,” the statement said.
The statement from the poll panel drew sharp criticism from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP national convener Raghav Chadha, who said the Election Commission “must not be allowed to become an agent of a political party”.
In a series of tweets, Kejriwal said, “Incumbents come and go. EC is too precious an institution for Indian democracy. EC’s integrity and credibility ought to be protected. EC must not be allowed to become agent of a political party (sic).”
“EC gave AAP a list of 24 lakh names deleted in Delhi. 1. Delhi govt enquiries in some deletions found them wrong? Why EC protecting those officers? 2. Why EC not allowing Delhi govt to do enquiries in all deletions? EC itself didn’t conduct enquiries (sic),” he further tweeted.
In January, after the poll panel came out with the final voter list, the AAP had launched sustained attacks on the BJP, alleging its hand behind the “deletion” of names of 30 lakh voters, particularly of Purvanchali, Muslims and Bania communities, since the assembly election in Delhi in 2015.
The chief electoral officer’s list claimed that there was an increase of 7.78% in voter enrolment from the 2014 general elections. But it also said the number of voters had decreased by 1,19,575 compared to the electoral rolls published a year ago (January 10, 2018).
The BJP delegation led by Union Minister Vijay Goel had Friday requested the Chief Election Commissioner to issue clarification on “bogus claims” by the AAP that names of 30 lakh voters in Delhi were deleted from electoral rolls. The Election Commission should come out with a press statement to “expose” lies spread by the Arvind Kejriwal-led party, Goel had said.