Many minority community households have only single votes, alleges Congress

‘Something is being done deliberately to reduce the minority votes in the State’

Anwar Pasha, a resident of 5/4, Pemme Gowda Road at J.C. Nagar in Shivajinagar Assembly constituency, has nine members in his family. All of them have electors photo identity cards (EPIC) and had voted during the 2013 elections. This time round, only one vote from the family figures on the electoral rolls.

This is not a lone case. Thousands of voters from households of minority communities in the area, who have EPIC, are missing from the voters’ list, according to a random survey undertaken by a team of volunteers from the Congress. They claim that only one or two votes per family figure on the list. R. Roshan Baig, area MLA, claims that 14,591 households in Shivajinagar had just one or two votes on the voters’ list. Similar surveys were done in 49 constituencies across the State and it was found that 6,22,056 households showed single occupancy on the list, although the families had five or more members each.

“Overall, names of nearly 18 lakh eligible voters have been left out of the electoral rolls, especially in minority-dominated areas,” alleged S.R. Mehroz Khan, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee secretary.

Mr. Khan, along with Mr. Baig, Syed Nasir Hussain, Rajya Sabha member; Brijesh Kalappa, AICC spokesperson; M.N. Suraj Hegde, former AICC secretary; and Naseer Ahmed, chairperson of the Karnataka State Minorities Commission; met the Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar on Monday and submitted a memorandum in this regard.

“While we do not want to blame anyone directly for this, we suspect something is being done deliberately to reduce the minority votes in the State. We demand a probe into this,” said Mr. Mehroz Khan. “This happens every year and voters realise it on the day of the polling. So, we got the survey done well in advance,” said Mr. Baig.

‘None deleted suo motu

Sanjiv Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer, said not a single vote had been deleted suo motu.

“During our special summary revision, a total of 3,67,445 names of dead persons, 6,10,783 names that were repeating on the list and 4,88,140 names that had been shifted were deleted. There is nothing visible to indicate that names of 18 lakh eligible voters have been deleted as alleged by the Congress delegation. We will, however, inquire into the issue,” he said.

He added that people still had time, till April 14, to get themselves enrolled if their name is not on the list.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 8:21:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/many-minority-community-households-have-only-single-votes-alleges-congress/article23438138.ece

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