Print voter lists only at Govt Press: D K Shivakumar

Print voter lists only at Govt Press, urges D K Shivakumar

During the Rajarajeshwarinagar bypoll last month, the Congress had alleged voter disenfranchisement

KPCC President Shivakumar. Credit: PTI Photo

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D K Shivakumar on Thursday urged the Election Commission not to engage private agencies in the printing of voter lists.

In a letter addressed to the chief electoral officer, Shivakumar said voter lists should be printed at the Government Press only.

"There are widespread complaints that the means of certain categories of voters are getting deleted from the final list of the voters at the time of printing," Shivakumar stated. "It is alleged that certain outfits affiliated to a political party, through various means, manipulate the lists at the time of printing and see that the names of certain categories of voters are omitted in the list."

Since political parties cannot set right this anomaly, voter disenfranchisement is "sheer mockery" of democracy, Shivakumar asserted.

"In order to ensure that no manipulation takes place in the printing of voters' list, the Election Commission has to take the precaution that private operators do not sneak into the system," he said.

Shivakumar's letter to the Election Commission comes just days before the gram panchayat elections. During the Rajarajeshwarinagar bypoll last month, the Congress had alleged voter disenfranchisement, accusing the BJP of preventing genuine voters from exercising their right.