Lok Sabha Election

Yet again, ‘missing names’ haunt voters

A woman shows her inked finger in Hojai, Assam. PTI  

The issue of voters’ names going missing, a common complaint, returned to haunt this Lok Sabha elections too, particularly in several areas of Bengaluru and parts of Mysuru.

In K.R. Puram, IT professional Vikas Kumar Pandey said he located his name on the Chunavana app. “My name and my father’s name were correct but the photos were somebody else’s. Someone had voted in our names,” he said. Nirmala S., a voter from Vidyaranyapura here, said, “I voted at the same booth in the 2018 Assembly polls and I stay at the same house. But my name has been deleted.”

In Mysuru, many voters’ names were missing though they had voted in the Assembly polls and more recently in the Mysuru City Corporation elections.

BJP’s complaint

The BJP lodged a complaint with Chief Electoral Officer for Karnataka Sanjiv Kumar, and demanded a probe. The former Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok told The Hindu that there were reports of nearly 50,000 to 60,000 names having been deleted in each constituency in Bengaluru and even suspected “a political conspiracy to disenfranchise” their voters.

Under the National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme, Karnataka deleted 13.8 lakh entries since May 2018, and 5.05 lakh of them were in Bengaluru alone.

The officials claimed this indicated deletion of fake and duplicate entries, and updating of details of voters who had shifted or died.

Analyst P.G. Bhat said a survey indicated mass deletions. “For instance, in a part in Anekal, 436 out of the 711 entries (61%) were deleted. There is no way there was such a mass exodus,” he said, and added that there were cases with over 35% deletions.

However, BBMP Commissioner and Bengaluru District Electoral Officer N. Manjunath Prasad said deletions were done after officials found that voters were not staying in the said address. “All suo motu deletions were done before January 16, 2019, when the final rolls were published. We repeatedly asked citizens to check for their names on the list. But most of them only turned up on the polling day and complained,” he said.

Admitting that there were complaints about missing names, Mr. Sanjiv Kumar said they would be looked into. No en masse deletion of names has happened after the summary revision in January, he said.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 3:50:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/yet-again-missing-names-haunt-voters/article26881628.ece

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