In a startling revelation by the former Mayor P.R. Ramesh, the names of thousands of voters across the city are believed to have gone missing from the electoral rolls ahead of the Assembly elections.
Pointing to the electoral rolls published recently by the Election Commission of India, according to information obtained under Right to Information Act (RTI), Mr. Ramesh said there were 19 such Assembly constituencies with huge numbers of missing names.
The names, which were present in the draft version published in April 2012, no longer exist in the recently published version in January 2013, Mr. Ramesh, who is also a Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office-bearer, told reporters here on Monday. Taking Chickpet as a case in point, he said that voters in all the seven BBMP wards as present during the 2010 BBMP elections totalled 2,33,533.
However, the rolls published by the Chief Electoral Officer in Janaury 2013 contained only 1,70,529 voters — a staggering difference of 63,004. “Have the names of these voters been deleted? If so, what is the justification? Which version is right? Either the previous electoral rolls had bogus votes added for political gain, or people have been deprived of their right to vote in this version,” he said.
If the former is the case, the previous elections are effectively null and void, he said. If legitimate voters have been removed from the voters’ rolls, he did not rule out the possibility that minorities would have been targeted.
Observing that a difference of 2,000-3,000 voters was plausible, Mr. Ramesh said the gap of this magnitude was too large and needed to be investigated. “Fundamental rights of the citizens have been corrupted,” he said.