Thiruvananthapuram: At least eight voters’ photographs have appeared multiple times on the electoral list against different names in the Kozhikode North assembly constituency, adding to a startling revelation that bogus identity cards had been issued with real voters’ names and addresses.
The revelations point to serious lapses on the part of the officials as no one else can manipulate the electoral rolls. The statutory authority for preparation and revision of electoral rolls is the Electoral Registration Officer. ERO is an officer of the Government or of a local authority designated or nominated by the Election Commission of India in consultation with the state government.
A same photograph appears against serial numbers 455 and 457 in booth number 87 in Kozhikode North. Names are different though – Jinula (38 years), daughter of Usman at 455, and Rahiyana (aged 34), daughter of Jimshad at 457. Both of them happen to carry the same family name and house number.
Narayanikutti Amma (76 years) appears as No. 756 in booth number 71. The same photograph is attached to Jaysantha who is only 38 years old! Her serial number is 761.
S Sreesh Babu (Serial No. 708) and S Suresh Babu (Serial No. 709) in booth number 119 share the same father’s name, family name and photograph.
In 121th booth, Balachandran (Serial No. 168) and Rajeev (Serial No. 388) share the same photograph, but their addresses, family names and father’s names are different. So is the age.
At least four such pairs have been discovered n the same constituency – Mammad Koya (Serial No. 317) and Salim Shah (Serial No. 1030) in the 12th booth, Christopher (Serial No. 42) and Sarma (Serial No. 418) in 68th booth, E Akshaya (Serial No. 32) and K P Nihal Roshan (Serial No. 486) in the 146th booth, and Pankajakshi (Serial No. 183) and Jyothilakshmi (Serial No. 857) in the 102nd booth.
The list would have to be vetted against each of these persons to ascertain who has the correct credentials against them. These anomalies cannot be attributed to the voters because only a handful of officials are authorised to edit the electoral list. It remains to be seen if the problems are widespread.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, who earlier exposed such discrepancies in the electoral roll, said he would hand over to the state election commission a list of duplicate voters from 69 assembly constituencies on Monday. He claimed that bogus votes would add up to about 3.25 lakh.
The Congress leader had earlier handed over details of 2,16,510 bogus voters from 66 constituencies. He said he suspected the role of officials loyal to the ruling Left Democratic Front. He called for urgent remedial measures from the Central Election Commission on the matter.
The duplicate items on the electoral list may be suspended pending a probe following allegations from Chennithala. Twelve of the district collectors have submitted reports to chief electoral officer Tikaram Meena in this regard.
The reports have validated the allegations raised by Chennithala. The chief electoral officer is likely to act on the reports from the collectors. Two more collectors are expected to submit their reports on Monday.