Not just same names, photographs too repeated on electoral rolls

Ramesh Chennithala
Ramesh Chennithala

Thiruvananthapuram: A large number of bogus voters have made it to the electoral rolls, prepared ahead of the April 6 Assembly polls. ID cards made with the same face but with addresses in different constituencies point at a deliberate bid to escape getting caught. Documents available so far have ruled out technical errors, but indicated a deliberate attempt at creating fake voters’ cards using the photograph of a single person.

Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala once again complained to the Election Commission after he found several ‘look-alikes’ in the list. Though the same photograph has been used, all ID cards carried different names and addresses. He demanded action against those who had committed the fraud.

For instance five voters share the same face though they have five names and as many residential addresses, and different constituencies. These detected cases are of Ashwathy C Nair (Booth No 88 at Nemom), Shemi (Booth 98, Nemom), Sindhu (Booth 119, Chirayinkil), Sajith (Booth 32, Vattiyoorkavu), and Anita Kumari (Booth 33, Kazhakkoottam). Their voters' identity cards have the same photograph!

Likewise, Shafeekh (Booth 62, Nemom), Harikumar (Booth 90, Nemom), Selvakumar (Booth 47, Nemom), Uthaman (Booth 110, Thiruvananthapuram), and Sunil Raj (Booth 89, Vattiyoorkavu) also share the same face despite having differing residential addresses.

Only a detailed probe could identify the real voter among the five, and if he/she was part of the fraud.

Chennithala submits more cases

The Opposition Leader also submitted a list of bogus voters added to the list. The list pointed out 7,600 such bogus voters in Thiruvananthapuram Central constituency, 6,360 in Nemom, and 8,400 in Vattiyoorkkavu.

Chennithala said the list of bogus voters submitted to the commission on Thursday was in addition to those he had provided earlier.

With the multiple entry of voters in the electoral list, the possibility of bogus voting in Thiruvananthapuram segment would rise to 12,551. Nemom and Vattiitoorkavu would have 10,052 and 12,429 bogus voters, respectively.

The Opposition Leader said lakhs of bogus voters have been added to the electoral rolls across the State.

Besides Chennithala, UDF candidates in four constituencies in Thiruvananthapuram district, K Muraleedharan, V S Sivakumar, Dr S S Lal and Veena S Nair, too, have complained of irregularities in the electoral rolls.

Meanwhile in Kochi, Hibi Eden, MP, alleged of massive irregularities in the electoral rolls of Ernakulam and Tripunithura constituencies. He said 2,238 bogus voters were found in Ernakulam, and 1,975 in Thrikkakkara.

He has lodged complaints with the Chief Electoral Officer and Returning Officers.

High Court likely to consider plea today

The High Court of Kerala is likely to consider a petition seeking an order to the Election Commission to freeze or delete duplicated or bogus voters from the electoral rolls.

The petition will come before a Bench led by Chief Justice S Manikumar.

In his petition, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the Chief Electoral Officer and the Election Commission did not respond even though five letters, CDs and reports were submitted to them.

Meena holds talks with collectors

Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena held a video conference with District Collectors to evaluate the progress of the investigation into the inclusion of bogus voters in the electoral rolls.

Efforts to weed out the irregularities from the list are on in all districts, he said, adding that it would be completed by March 30.

Aeronet software is being employed to identify duplication and bogus voters. Based on a list created by the software, Booth-level Officers (BLOs) are making personal visits based on the result. BLOs have been asked to create a list of suspicious voters.

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