Accusing the Telangana government of trying to vitiate the upcoming Assembly polls by "manipulating voters lists", the Congress on Sunday demanded the Election Commission’s (EC) intervention for verification and sanitisation of electoral rolls.
Alleging that as many as 70 lakh names in the electoral lists have been manipulated, Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi wondered if the "contamination of the voter lists" was the reason behind the K Chandrashekhar Rao government prematurely dissolving the Telangana Assembly in order to swing elections in their favour.
"Rao rushed to announce the dates for the Telangana Assembly elections and deliberately chose to ignore the numerous discrepancies in the voter lists which disenfranchise lakhs of eligible voters and completely erode the integrity of the elections, whenever they are conducted," Singhvi told the media here.
"It is clear that the caretaker Chief Minister of Telangana is sacrificing the integrity of the elections for the sake of his petty political ambitions."
Singhvi said that an inquiry by the Congress party has revealed that at least 30.13 lakh duplicate voters exist on the electoral rolls published by the Election Commission on September 10. He also said that close to 20 lakh voters in Telangana have been deleted from the rolls between 2014 and 2018.
"When we raised the issue with the EC, we were told that the reduction (of 20 lakh voters) was largely due to voter migration from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh following the bifurcation. However, it has since been found that even in Andhra Pradesh, there has been a reduction of close to 17 lakh voters. If in fact, a migration of such a large number had taken place, shouldn't there have been a corresponding increase in the number of voters in Andhra Pradesh?" asked Singhvi.
Pointing out further discrepancies in the electoral rolls, the Congress leader claimed that close to 18 lakh names featured in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana electoral rolls. He asserted that the elections held on the basis of the "deeply and deliberately flawed and inaccurate" voter lists would undermine the entire process and lead to a distorted mandate.
"By dissolving the Assembly early, Rao has interfered with the process whereby these discrepancies and inaccuracies would have been corrected. After publishing the revised electoral roll on September 10, the public and other political parties have been given a mere four weeks to identify and highlight these issues. This is a travesty," said Singhvi, urging the EC to intervene in the strongest possible manner.
ANI News reported later on Sunday that Rajat Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer of Telangana had said that, “The figure of 70 lakh being reported is very much higher than the number shown by our analysis”. “The period of filing claims and objections is available up to September 25 and if the details are provided to us by any political party, they will be thoroughly examined and addressed,” added Kumar.
Inputs by NH Web Desk