Delhi

Delhi CEO to counter ‘misinformation’ campaign

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said enquiries by his government had found some of the deletions to be wrong.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said enquiries by his government had found some of the deletions to be wrong.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Takes note of ‘voter deletion calls’ allegedly being made by AAP, mulls legal action

With Delhiites receiving calls over the past month claiming to be from the Aam Aadmi Party, telling them that their names have been struck off the electoral rolls, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer has decided to counter the “misleading calls” with its own awareness campaign.

In a statement on Saturday, the CEO office said: “It has been brought to the notice of Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi, that large number of calls have been received from unknown persons/entities/sources by many citizens of Delhi telling them that their names have already been deleted in the electoral roll and the caller(s) will get the same restored in the electoral roll.”

The statement further cautioned Delhiites to “beware of such misleading calls” and to check whether their names are on the rolls through the helpline 1950, the website www.nvsp.in or by visiting a voter centre. Though the statement did not name AAP, it added that “separate legal action” was being taken. Sources in the CEO office confirmed that the calls referred to in the statement were the ones claiming to be from AAP.

A senior official in the CEO office said apart from advertisements in print and on radio, the election authorities would consider reaching out to voters through social media and SMS as well.

For the past few months, AAP has been alleging mass voter deletion ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, a claim denied by the Election Commission of India and the CEO. While the party has claimed that anywhere between 24 lakh and 30 lakh names have been deleted since the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections, the electoral roll published by the CEO on January 18 shows an increase of 9,88,925 voters since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

AAP cries foul

Reacting to the CEO’s statement on Saturday, AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said through a series of tweets that the Election Commission had incorrectly deleted names from the rolls in Telangana and in Delhi. He said AAP had been given a list of 24 lakh names that had been deleted by the EC and enquiries by the Delhi government found some of the deletions to be wrong.

Addressing a press conference here, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said: “I want to ask the EC that is it not true that the names of over 22 lakh voters were missing from the voter list during the recently concluded elections in Telangana?” He added that AAP had “unearthed” deletion of over 30 lakh electors in Delhi.

“Will the EC step up and initiate an inquiry against officers who are committing this crime in collusion with the BJP? While the EC may have permitted the BJP to kill democracy in Telangana, but in Delhi we have AAP and we will not permit the BJP to snatch people’s democratic right to vote,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 2:53:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-ceo-to-counter-misinformation-campaign/article26226741.ece

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