Hours after a Congress delegation, led by Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath, lodged a complaint with the Election Commission regarding discrepancies in the voters’ list of Madhya Pradesh, the poll watchdog ordered an investigation into the matter. Nath questioned how the number of voters increased by 40 per cent at a time when the population in the state rose by only 24 per cent in the last 10 years.
The EC has formed two teams to probe the allegations and they will visit Narela, Bhojpur, Seoni-Malwa and Hoshangabad assembly seats to ascertain how the discrepancies occurred. The teams have been asked to furnish their report by June 7.
“We’ve provided evidence to the Election Commission that there are approximately 60 Lakh fake voters registered in the voting list. These names have been deliberately registered. Ye prashasanik laparvaahi nahi prashasanik durupyog hai (this is not an administrative carelessness, but an administrative misuse).” Kamal Nath said.
In a memoradum to the Election Commission, the Congress alleged that the voter list contains repeated, illegal, duplicate entries, where in one instance a name has been repeated at least five times. It demanded strict action against the returning officer who published the list in January this year and called for a fresh list to be released ahead of the upcoming state assembly election. Interestingly, the highest number of alleged duplication of voters was recorded in Mandsaur, the epicentre of farmers’ protest last year in which several were killed in police firing.
Speaking at a press conference, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia blamed the BJP-led government in the state behind the irregularities in voter list. “We found these irregularities during the Mungaoli and Kolaras bypolls in the state, where names of voters were being repeated. We reviewed 101 constituencies in the state where we found 24,65,000 fake voters. Meanwhile, in 91 other constituencies, we found 27 lakh such voters who had names, address and pictures on multiple polling booths,” Scindia added.
The party alleged that around 60 lakh such fake voters are estimated to be part of the voter list in the state which has a total of five crore electorates. Scindia said that the fake names in the list make up for five per cent of total voters in the state. In the last election result, the difference in vote share between the BJP and Congress was nine per cent (35 lakhs), he added. “This shows the strategy of BJP for winning the election,” Scindia said.
The Congress demanded the Election Commission to prepare a new list by removing the duplicate entries and get an affidavit signed by the returning officer attesting to its validity. The Commission has said that the new list will be released by July end.