While officials claim their exercise to delete voters’ names was foolproof, the allegations of Pune residents have compelled the Election Commission to look into the issue of missing voters
Mumbai: The Election Commission (EC) has come under scrutiny after several voters of the state allege that their names have been wrongfully removed from the list during the clean-up of electoral rolls.
According to the commission, over 13.49 lakh names have been deleted from the state list in 2014. In Mumbai alone, about 2.25 lakh names were removed that officials claim they have verified through door-to-door visits.
EC refuses to admit the allegations against them about the wrong deletions in their list of 74 lakh names. According to an official, when they had asked residents to submit fresh details, they received only a few thousand forms.
Even as noted actor Amol Palekar objected that his name was missing from the list, officials said that his name was registered in Santacruz and he should have taken the initiative to transfer his name from Mumbai to Pune when he decided to migrate.
However, when this reporter asked how name of one family member could be deleted when the remaining names of the same family are there, the election department could not provide any reasonable explanation.
While the EC says that ample time was given to voters to verify the revised list and submit their objections and corrections, an official from the department, requesting anonymity, revealed that the issue is now being examined by the commission.
The state wing of the commission affirms that most of the names that were deleted were of people who migrated, who were dead but not removed from the voters’ list and duplicate entries.
A previous drive was undertaken in 2012-13 where around 36.35 lakh names were removed from the state list. After a similar exercise was conducted in 2014, there was an appeal by political parties to verify the final list at the offices of district collectors, tahsildars and chief election officer.
According to an official, representatives of political parties had raised their doubts over the exercise, and complaints were lodged with the commission in New Delhi. EC had then deputed a team of senior officials to Mumbai, who visited around 400 houses and found that the process of deletion was foolproof.
More than 1.75 lakh names were removed from Mumbai city district that has two Lok Sabha constituencies and about 49,685 names from the Mumbai suburban district that is divided into four constituencies. During the last deletion exercise, 1.83 lakh names were removed from city district and 2.23 lakh from the suburban district, said the official.
Number of first time voters
Number of voter names deleted from the state list
Additions to voters’ list
40 lakh - added by August 2013
16 lakh - added by January 2014