People whose voter IDs were deleted by mistake may have committed perjury, say activists; demand attention

A few months before Telangana elections, many voters found their names deleted from the voters list. Those who checked their names and found them missing applied once again, but there were still thousands of voters who had not checked for their names in the voters list and were disappointed when they found they could not vote even though they had their voter IDs.

And still there were some whose names were in the electoral rolls and also had voter ID cards but could not vote because when they went to the polling booth they did find their names in the list but against it was written the word ‘deleted’.

Dr. Lubna Sarwath, former MP contestant in 2014 had also found her name deleted in the voting list and in 2018 she contested again for the assembly seat after re-applying for her voter’s Id from Socialist Party (India).  Her name was found in the electoral list in Bhopal.

She has been on a warpath ever since seeking an explanation from the Chief Election Officer (CEO) for deleting her voter Id without any valid reason.

Of late, she has brought to the notice of the CEO and all citizens of Telangana whose names were deleted and who are re-applying for fresh voter identities instead of demanding for restoration, that the Form 6 which is the application for new voters has a self-declaration in it that says: “I have not been issued any EPIC (Electoral Photo Id Card) at any time in the past in any constituency”

Now, this is untruthful because these are people who had been issued EPIC earlier. Further the same form says that “Making false declaration related to electoral rolls is an offence punishable under the Representation of People’s Act and also Indian Penal Code.”

Thus the people are unwittingly giving false declarations and committing offences or rather being forced to commit an offence.

Dr. Lubna told, “The deleted names have not been restored despite several demands from us. And now instead of issuing a separate form for those whose names have been erroneously deleted, we are being asked to fill in a form meant for fresh voters.”

She has had a series of meeting with the CEO demanding for segregation of deleted re-registration of voters and fresh voters, but both fresh as well as old voters are being made to fill in the same form, Form No 6.

Petitions in this regard have gone to the CEO from Magsaysay award winner Sandeep Pandey, Lubna Sarwath, Chakri S, and Guru Moorthy all from the Socialist Party (India) but not heeded.

On December 31st Sarwath met the Chief Election Officer Rajat Kumar once more at his office, she sought an explanation on this blunder wherein lakhs of voters whose names have been illegally deleted not just in Telangana but all over India are invoking upon themselves criminal proceedings.

In the press release of the Socialist Party released on January 1st 2019, the General Secretary of the party mentions that Rajat Kumar, CEO  had no answer to this question and apologised for the same. He also said that the CEO cannot be held responsible for everything.  And asked them to approach the court of law against the Election Commission of India for these irregularities.

The Socialist Party members have contacted a supreme Court lawyer to file a case against the ECI. They have also contacted Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) who work to improve governance and strengthen democracy by continuous work in the area of Electoral and Political Reforms. And Prof Jagdeep Chokkar has assured support from ADR saying that this is a very serious point.

Courtesy: Two Circles




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