Congress to continue hunt for ‘fake voters’ in MP
Cong to field exsp leader in MP, senior journalist in Chhattisgarh
BHOPAL/RAIPUR: The Madhya Pradesh Congress is likely to field former Samajwadi Party leader Arjun Arya against chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Budhni assembly constituency. Arya, 34, joined the Congress on Saturday in presence of state chief Kamal Nath. The Congress had been looking for a formidable candidate against Chouhan, who has been winning from Budhni since 2006, and believes that Arya can confine Chouhan in his own constituency. “In Madhya Pradesh we can fight against the BJP’S misrule while being a part of the Congress. He gave me his blessings,” he siad. In Chhattisgarh, an interesting contest is on offing with senior journalist Ruchir Garg likely to be party’s candidate against BJP senior minister Brijmohan Agarwal from Raipur (south) assembly constituency. “My candidature is something which will be decided by the party. I am ready to perform any responsibility given by the senior leaders,” Garg said, after joining in presence of party president Rahul Gandhi. Garg was editor of Hindi daily ‘Navbharat’ and had worked with some other Hindi publications from the region. BHOPAL: The Congress said on Saturday that it will carry on its work on the voters lists to find out existence of fake voters in Madhya Pradesh. The Supreme Court had on Friday dismissed Congress leader Kamal Nath’s plea for soft copies of the draft electoral rolls in text mode format for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections in November to avoid foul play.
“I don’t want to comment on the Supreme Court judgment but we will continue to work on voters lists to find out fake voters as the BJP will rely on them to manipulate the state assembly elections”, said JP Dhanopia, state Congress spokesperson. Polling in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 28 and counting on December 11.
Dhanopia said according to their assessment there were at least 56 lakh fake voters in the state. However, after the issue was raised, Madhya Pradesh’s chief electoral officer V L Kantha Rao deleted as many as 24 lakh voters from the lists in the past nine months. But there had been addition of lakhs of new voters to the voters lists during the revision of the voters lists, alleged Dhanopia.
“I fear names of many voters who were dropped might have resurfaced in the lists during revision. We will convey our apprehension to the chief elect- oral officer and point out those names which are identified as fake during our scrutiny. It’s up to the ECI to take a decision on our complaints,” he added.
Dhanopia claims that the deleted names were instances of those where names or photographs had appeared twice or thrice in the lists, dead voters, those who had migrated and names of those who don’t exist at all. As per ECI claims, there are no fake voters.
According to Rao, duplicate photographs of about one lakh voters were detected and 7.5 lakh voters were found dead during a scrutiny carried out by the EC.
After the clean up, the number of voters in Madhya Pradesh (for the assembly elections) is 5.03 crore. This is an increase of 37 lakh voters in the list compared to the number of voters during the 2013 assembly elections. Dhanopia said, “the increase of 24 lakh voters in the past nine months is unusual.”
Rao said, “though we released the final voters list on September 27, we have also decided to accept objections and suggestions for addition of names till October 30 as we don’t want to allow anyone to raise the question on EC’S credibility.”
State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “Congress objections will continue to pour in even after their defeat in assembly elections. It’s a part of their strategy to attribute their defeat to voters’ lists and EVMS so that they could save their image in the eyes of the public.”
The Supreme Court dismissed two petitions on Friday—one demanding the voters’ list from the EC in a text format and another seeking the poll panel to randomly verify at least 10 % Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with votes cast on electronic voting machines (EVMS).
KAMAL HAASAN, actor and founder of the Makkal Needhi Maiam
Congress claims there are at least 56 lakh fake voters in MP.