Genuine voter names deleted from new draft rolls

Image for representation only.

Karnataka’s Chief Electoral Officer began preparations for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by recently removing 1,83,111 names from the draft electoral rolls in Bengaluru.

A particular concern, however, is the missing names of voters who exercised their franchise in the Assembly polls just six months ago. This has given rise to doubts if genuine names were eliminated and names of fake voters still remain in the new draft rolls.

Ashok Kumar Prashanth, residing near Sarjapura Road, finds his name missing along with his mother Shantha Kumar Krishnan and brother Amit Kumar Shabari.

“I ran from pillar to post to get my name registered in January,” Prashanth said. “I used to live in Chinnappanahalli near Marathahalli and voted in the 2014 (Lok Sabha) elections.”

“When I shifted to Sulakunte in Sarjapura Road, I was keen on getting registered in the electoral rolls in my new neighbourhood and spent nearly a month to get that done.

“My family somehow managed to get the enrollment and we all voted in the 2018 Assembly polls,” he added, pointing out that all the names are now deleted in the new list.

Agonised by the development, Prashanth lodged a complaint with the CEO, who is yet to respond.

Retired Naval officer and voter analyst PG Bhat said many like Prashanth find their names deleted from the list. Despite the poll panel removing 1.83 lakh names, Bhat suspects that a large number of fake voters continue to exist on the rolls in Bengaluru.

A statement from the CEO said: “House to house visits by block level officers (BLOs) to identify the dead, shifted electors, repeated entries, eligible people who are yet to be enrolled and  also people attaining the age of 18 as on January 01, 2019 have been completed.”

However, Bhat said BLOs never do door to door visit to verify electoral rolls. “As reported by (the citizen network) Whitefield Rising, not a single visit of BLOs was recorded in Mahadevapura constituency,” he reiterated.

“I’ve sample cases of   people shown as voters in certain houses who haven’t been living there for more than five years. BLOs never identify the shifted voters even if they do house visits,” Bhat further said.

Poll officials, including the CEO, are not available for clarification.

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Genuine voter names deleted from new draft rolls

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