Thiruvananthapuram: The electoral rolls prepared for the Kerala Legislative Assembly election have not just the names of bogus voters but also double entries. Even the name of Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala’s mother appears twice in the voters' list of the Thripperumthura Grama Panchayat and the Cherthala Municipality.
Chennithala alleged that no steps have been initiated to make the correction despite submitting an application after the family had changed the address to that of his Haripad-based camp office.
Earlier the family, including Chennithala's mother Devaki Amma, had registered their names as voters of Thripperumthura Grama Panchayat
within the Chengannur constituency. But last year they had changed their address to one in Haripad in Alappuzha district.
The UDF candidate in Kazhakkoottam, Dr S S Lal, too, has two votes in the Vattiyoorkkavu Assembly constituency. He has submitted a written request to delete one entry.
Chennithala had earlier alleged that the Left Democratic Front is widely distributing a chemical that could facilitate the easy erasing of the indelible ink mark applied on the fingers of voters.
In the last few days he has been submitting proof of voters' names that were found replicated in the voters' list with minor alterations, indicating a deliberate rigging bid was on.
The Congress’s national leadership ha already approached the Election Commission of India, demanding a freeze on all duplicated/bogus voters, and also address the irregularities in the electoral rolls in Kerala.
The Commission informed the leaders that an official has been deputed to Kerala to check the irregularities. Action has been initiated against those responsible for the irregularities.
A memorandum submitted to the ECI said that the LDF government had included several bogus votes, and the Chief Electoral Officer in Kerala has been acting as a Left agent.
The memorandum was signed by national leaders K C Venugopal, Abhishek Singhvi, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Ajay Makan and State Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala.
UDF candidate Eldhose, wife have two votes each
The UDF candidate from Perumbavoor Eldhose Kunnappilly and his wife have two votes each, since their names have been duplicated in the electoral rolls.
Their names figure in the voters’ list of Rayamangalam in Perumbavoor, and Marady in Muvattupuzha.
Elhose and his wife are voters of Booth 142 set up at Jaya Keralam Higher Secondary School, Perumbavoor, and have the roll numbers 1,354 and 1,358, respectively, in the voters’ list.
However, they also figure under the roll numbers of 1,092 and 1,095 at Booth 130 of Marady Panchayat.
Eldhose, originally from Muvattupuzha, purchased a house at Pulluvazhy, Perumbavoor, after winning the constituency in 2016. The MLA said he had informed the authorities about the change in his address. He blamed the officials for not making the necessary changes in the electoral rolls of Marady.
The Election Commission has made it clear that legal action would be taken against the voter, who did bogus voting, and the poll official, who connived in this.
The police can take a suo motu case as per the provisions in the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of the People Act. Those who do bogus voting can be imprisoned for up to three years and slapped with a fine, as per the IPC 171F and 171D. Action can be initiated against the polling official, as per the Section 134 of Representation of the People Act.