Poll body is­sues alert on ‘ mis­lead­ing calls’

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTMETRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent htre­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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