Fearing fraud by BP, Cong to keep hawk-eye vigil on voters' list

Fearing fraud by BP, Cong to keep hawk-eye vigil on voters' list

Party conducting training camps for its booth-level workers

Fearing tampering of the voters' list, the Congress has asked its workers to keep hawk's eye vigil on any large-scale deletion of names in the voters' rolls in the run up to the Assembly election.

The party's booth-level workers have been asked to keep a close watch on use of Form 7 (used for deletion of names) during the ongoing process to update the electoral list. The ruling party has been distributing a copy of the voters' list to all 54,000 its booth-level committees, besides conducting training camps in this regard.

"We have to be cautious while fighting the formidable enemy (BJP) who is known for manipulation. A large number of names were deleted in many constituencies in the recently held Gujarat Assembly election. Most of these names were of either Muslims or Dalits, who are the Congress supporters. We have reliable information that the BJP is responsible for this," AICC secretary incharge of Karnataka (Belagavi division) Manick Tagore told DH.

The Congress has so far formed about 53,000 booth committees, comprising 13 members each, in an effort to transform itself into a cader-based party. The state has about 56,000 polling booths. Each Assembly constituency has an average of 250 booths. Besides, the party has appointed booth agents, who will work with Booth-Level Officers (representing Election Commission) in updating the voters' list.

"One of the reasons for the party forming booth committees is to counter the BJP at the grass-root level. Women and Muslims above 40 years age group are vulnerable. Large number of Form 7 mysteriously get submitted to BLOs in their names and they are processed. When these people go to cast their vote, they will find their names missing in the voters' list. This has been a trend in many past elections," Tagore pointed out.

He said it is difficult to notice if 10 to 15 names are deleted in every booth. But it cannot be neglected as it will be 2,500 to 3,000 names at the constituency level. It can make or mar the election prospects of a candidate. Hence, the Congress will be closely monitoring the process to update the voters' list in the state, he added.

When contacted, BJP spokesperson S Suresh Kumar termed Tagore's charges as baseless. "This is the wildest allegation which I reject. The grand old party is acting as the custodian of Dalits and Muslims. The party has been thoroughly exposed in the Triple talaq issue," he added.




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