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Rajasthan: Citing study, Congress says 42 lakh duplicate electors in state

Congress state president Sachin Pilot said that addition of so many names makes it clear that some have been wrongly added, while, on the other hand, there are many who are deprived of having their names added in the rolls.

Written by Hamza Khan | Jaipur |
Updated: August 20, 2018 12:36:00 pm
faulty EVMs Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma said, “We are not making an accusation but facilitating the sanitisation of the voter list through the study, since we are stake holders.”

In Sikar’s Danta Ramgarh Assembly constituency, house number 1312 under booth number 75 has 646 registered voters. Similarly, Ganganagar’s Sadulshahar assembly constituency, which has the distinction of being Assembly constituency number one in Rajasthan, has at least 84 persons named Angej Kaur or Angej Singh or Angrez Singh, and with other similar details, such as the name for a father or a husband.

The findings are from a study undertaken by thepolitics.in, which identifies itself as “India’s First Tech Political Start-Up”, for the Congress party. The party has cited the study in its letter to the Chief Election Commissioner.

In all, there are 42,08,841 “probable duplicates on the parameters of same name, relative name and gender.” As many as 91,261 records with the same Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) numbers within an assembly constituency were also found. And 14,282 probable duplicates on the parameters of same name, relative name and gender, repeated more than 50 times within a single constituency were also found.

At 41.58 per cent or 98,849 electors, Dungarpur’s Sagwara Assembly Constituency has the highest percentage of probable duplicates. And when it comes to absolute numbers, Kapasan in Chittorgarh has the highest number of probable duplicates with 99,264 such electors, or 40.48 per cent of the assembly electorate.

In all, duplicates amount to nearly 10 per cent of the state electorate, with the total electors in the state being 4,75,04,699.

The study was conducted on the draft electoral rolls published on July 31 this year, and for which objections are invited till August 21.

Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma said, “We are not making an accusation but facilitating the sanitisation of the voter list through the study, since we are stake holders.”

The study noted that nearly 70 lakh voters have been added during the period between 2013 and 2018, which is disproportionate to the growth in population.

Congress state president Sachin Pilot said that addition of so many names makes it clear that some have been wrongly added, while, on the other hand, there are many who are deprived of having their names added in the rolls.

Earlier this week, Supreme Court lawyer and party’s Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tanka had said that in Madhya Pradesh, nearly one crore suspicious electors had been found, and that the claims were written off by the Election Commission; however, the Commission later removed 25 lakh such names, “which confirms that the information provided by the party to the Commission is authentic.”

In its letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, dated August 14, the All India Congress Committee has asked the Commission to intervene to ensure a “free and fair” election in the state. Apart from asking the Commission to sanitise the data as per the study, the party has asked that the last date of filing objections be extended beyond August 21 and to separately provide the data, which has been added or deleted prior to publication of draft electoral rolls, in text mode.

Ashiwini Bhagat, the Chief Electoral Officer and ex-officio secretary to Rajasthan’s Election Department, said, “We have received instructions from the Commission and already instructions have been conveyed to the district officials regarding concerns of the Congress party. The District Election Officers are now verifying if there are any such persons whose names have been recorded multiple times.”

The CEO emphasised, “This is the time of filing claims and objections, which are a very important aspect of special summary revision; so the Congress has given their claims and objections and we are looking into that.” The final electoral rolls will be published on September 27.

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