The Election Commission has prima facie found that Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal was not at fault in the issue involving his name being found in the electoral rolls of Kaushambi (in Ghaziabad), Seemapuri and New Delhi Assembly constituencies (both in Delhi).
“Though we are yet to receive the official report of the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer, according to our information, Mr. Kejriwal had indeed mentioned, while applying for inclusion of his name in the electoral roll using Form 6, that he was a voter in the earlier place of residence. There seems to be some communication gap among the officials which will be found out,” a senior EC official told The Hindu on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Chief Nodal Officer in the Delhi election department, Ankur Garg, said Mr. Kejriwal's name would be moved to ASD (Absenteem Shifted and Dead Voter List) in East District's Seemapuri area so that his name was not used by any one else for bogus voting.
He made it clear that Mr. Kejriwal had indeed applied for inclusion of his name in the New Delhi Assembly constituency voters’ list but his name could not be removed from the Seemapuri list due to a technical glitch. “Since the electoral rolls were frozen on November 16 and Mr. Kejriwal's request came in a day later we could not remove his name from the Seemapuri list," Mr. Garg said. It will be deleted as soon as the election was over, he added.
The BJP had earlier complained to the EC that Mr. Kejriwal had violated the provisions of the Represenation of the People Act, 1951, by simultaneously being an elector in three places.
Reply on code violation
Another EC official said the Commission on Wednesday received reply from Mr. Kejriwal to its notice on the alleged poll code violation.
In his reply, he is said to have denied that he sought votes from Muslims on religious grounds. He reiterated that the BJP was indeed a communal party and cited various instances to buttress his argument.
The EC gave notice to Mr. Kejriwal for distributing pamphlets that contained an appeal to Muslim voters to support the AAP in the December 4 polls. As per the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct, using religious places or seeking votes based on religion is prohibited. Sub-paragraph three of paragraph one of the Code provides that “there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes...mosques, churches, temples or other places of worship shall not be used as a forum for election propaganda”.