Poll body issues alert on ‘ misleading calls’
LS ELECTIONS Action after residents get calls offering to get their deleted names restored on voters’ list; AAP and BJP trade barbs
NEWDELHI: The chief electoral officer (CEO) of Delhi on Saturday alerted residents to guard against “misleading” phone calls in which they are told that their names had been deleted from the voters’ list and an offer to get them restored.
In a statement released on Saturday, CEO Ranbir Singh said the Election Commission of India (ECI) was the sole authority to add or delete names from electoral rolls and said legal action was being taken against people who have made such calls.
“It has been brought to notice of CEO of Delhi that large number of calls has been received from unknown persons / entities / sources by many citizens of Delhi telling them that their names have already been deleted in the electoral rolls and the caller(s) will get the same restored (sic),” said the statement.
The CEO’S clarification came a day after the BJP delegation led by Union minister Vijay Goel met the Chief Election Commissioner and alleged that the city’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been making “bogus claims” that the names of three million voters had been deleted from the electoral rolls. The delegation requested a clarification.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said, “We welcome the Election Office clarification in the matter of phone calls being received by the people regarding removal of names from electoral rolls. The AAP should restrain from raising a baseless campaign of mass deletions in voter lists.”
The AAP has claimed that t the BJP had been behind the “deletion” of the names of three million voters, particularly those from the Purvanchali, Muslim and Bania communities, since the assembly election in Delhi in 2015. Last month, the chief electoral officer of Delhi released a final draft of Delhi’s voter list, in which
The AAP has alleged that 24 lakh names have been deleted from the electoral rolls in Delhi and that the Election Commission is acting at the behest of BJP in shielding the act. The Delhi Chief Electoral Officer on Saturday said it has learnt that a number of calls is being received by people telling them that their names have been deleted from the list. The CEO warned citizens to not be misled by such calls. “Kejriwal govt is making bogus phone calls to voters on the pretext that their names have been deleted from the list. The CM is spreading lies that BJP has deleted 30 lakh names belonging to Baniya, Muslims and Poorvanchali community.” “These phone calls to people living in slum clusters, who possibly could not check their names on the EC website, is absolutely condemnable. The AAP is doing this to create confusion.” “We have not received any complaints from the ECI. We will look into the allegations once a complaint is lodged.” 119,575 names that had been on the rolls last year were deleted.
The CEO’S office, while adding that the total voters’ list had increased by 7.78% compared to the 2014 general election, said the deletions had been made because the voters had died or permanently shifted out of Delhi, which it said happens every year.
Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of Delhi, tweeted earlier in the day that the Election Commission had given the AAP a list of 2.4 million names that have been deleted. “EC is too precious an institution for Indian democracy. EC’S integrity and credibility ought to be protected. EC must not be allowed to become agent of a political party,” Kejriwal tweeted. The AAP chief also questioned through a tweet why the poll panel was not allowing the “The EC gave the AAP a list of 24 lakh names that were deleted from the voter list in Delhi…
Why EC not allowing Delhi government to make enquiries into all deletions? … 22 lakh votes were deleted wrongly in Telangana…didn’t EC apologise?” AAP government to enquire into the deletion of names.
“We urge EC officials acting as spokespersons for the BJP to join the party officially and not to misuse its office to snatch away citizens’ constitutional rights,” said AAP’S national spokesperson and South Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Raghav Chadha at a press conference after the CEO’S office issued the alert. The spokesperson of the Election Commission of India refused to comment. The CEO could not be contacted despite repeated attempts .
“We have not received any formal complaints from the ECI till date. We would look into the complaints and allegations once a complaint is lodged and appropriate action as per law would be taken,” said Madhur Verma, Delhi Police spokesman.