Congress says bogus voters in Madhya Pradesh, Election Commission orders probe

The Election Commission has announced its decision to dispatch teams to four Assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh to probe the allegations.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: June 4, 2018 5:11:36 am
Congress, Madhya Pradesh, BJP government, Election Commission, MP bogus voters, MP electoral roll, India news, Indian Express news Congress MP chief Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and other leaders after meeting EC officials in Delhi. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Accusing the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh of electoral misconduct, the Congress on Sunday approached the Election Commission, alleging that there are as many as 60 lakh bogus voters in the state’s electoral rolls and demanded that steps be taken to remove all such entries.

The Election Commission has announced its decision to dispatch teams to four Assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh to probe the allegations.

Led by Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath, senior party leaders Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Vivek Tankha met EC officials and handed over a memorandum.

They said there are “glaring and shocking instances” in the publishing of electoral rolls by the state election commission which “reflect serious irregularities and malafide intent to manipulate the electoral rolls for political advantage.”

“The published figures of Madhya Pradesh have risen by world record figures of 40 per cent, whereas the population has risen by only 24 per cent and in rural areas despite the migration to urban and some semi-urban areas the figures have gone up by 30 per cent. This in itself reflects the seriousness of the inaccuracies and irregularities in preparation of the electoral rolls,” they said.

In the memorandum, the Congress cited what it called “specific examples” of “duplication /multiple entries/demographically similar entries in the electoral rolls” to back its charge. “Our enquiries/study only touches the tip of the iceberg. The electoral rolls do not have any semblance of accuracy….It is incumbent on the Election Commission to publish electoral rolls which are accurate and without any discrepancies. However, this is clearly not the case,” it said.

The Congress asked the EC to take steps to “ensure that correct and authentic draft rolls are prepared after removal of all repeat/duplicate/multiple/demographically similar entries”. It also demanded that EC initiate action, including direction for criminal proceedings against officers who allegedly breached duties and those who abetted preparation of “doctored” electoral rolls.

“We have given proof to the EC that the voters’ list of Madhya Pradesh is fraudulent. Sixty lakh fake voters have been enlisted in it. We have conducted our own enquiry in 100 constituencies. We have given proof to the EC about how one voter has been enlisted in different constituencies with the same name, address and father’s name. This cannot be any mistake, it has been done deliberately by the present Madhya Pradesh government,” Nath said.

An EC order issued in the evening stated that teams will visit Assembly seats of Narela, Bhojpur, Hoshangabad and Seoni-Malwa. The teams have been tasked to inquire into specific issues raised by the Congress and find out how the errors, if any, crept into the voter list. “If a deliberate mistake is detected, the responsibility shall be fixed so as to initiate appropriate action,” the Commission’s order stated.

According to EC sources, once the teams report back with their findings, the Commission will prepare a template for all poll officers of the state, based on which they will be directed to purify the rolls. The EC has to publish Madhya Pradesh’s draft electoral roll by June 21.

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