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Congress plans dharna against deficiencies in electoral rolls

Hyderabad: The Congress party has decided to hold a dharna on January 24 to protest against the failures of the Election Commission of India to take necessary steps in the preparation of pure electoral rolls.

The decision was taken in an emergency meeting of TPCC Election Commission Coordination Committee held on Monday under the chairmanship of ex-MLA Marri Shashidhar Reddy.

Other members of the committee G. Niranjan, A Shyam Mohan, B Kamalakar Rao, T Narender and Rajeshwar were also present in the meeting.

According to Shashidhar Reddy, repeated representations were made to ECI and submissions were made in the High Court about discrepancies in the voters list to the tune of about 70 lakhs.

“ECI had conceded that there were discrepancies and falsely claimed that the final voters list published for the assembly elections will correct them, in which they miserably,” he said.

After polling in the Telangana assembly elections on 7th December CEO Telangana Rajat Kumar had apologised for the lapses as a result of which 22 lakh names were missing from the voters lists and assured that things will be set right before the Lok Sabha elections.

This kind of an apology by a CEO for such lapses is for the first time in the history of Indian democracy, he said.

The Congress leader said that while there are lakhs of voters with duplicate votes within the state and also in both Telangana and AP, the ECI has recently uploaded on the CEO website names of over 30 lakh voters deleted in 2015, under the guise of Aadhaar Linkage i.e.

National Electoral Rolls Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP) and in 2017, under the guise of the Intensive Revision of Electoral Rolls (IRER) in 36 Urban Assembly Constituencies of Telangana.

“Both these programmes were taken up on a pilot basis in Telangana, as a part of the conspiracy at the instance of the TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to facilitate large scale deletion of names to get electoral advantage.

No serious efforts are being undertaken for verification of these names now as a part of the ongoing 2019 SSR, on the basis if which elections for the Lok Sabha will be conducted,” he said.

Shashidhar Reddy alleged that the ECI was not at all serious about the preparation of a pure electoral roll and the promise to set things right will be a hollow and empty promise because of their deliberate attempts to cover up all the past irregularities, which were committed at the instance of the ruling TRS party.

“They ignored our repeated demand to fix responsibilities for the irregularities committed by officials at different levels and take action strict against them. This is because the EC is acting totally as an agent of the TRS party,” he said.

In the case of the illegal deletion of 742 names out of 2701 voters under three polling stations of Danthanapally village, Utnoor Mandal in Khanapur ST Assembly constituency, EC has failed to fix the responsibility on the concerned officials and take action.

Even in this clear cut case, though EC is fully empowered to identify and straightaway direct the state government to take action against guilty officials, they are have been dilly-dallying things for one year and simply passing the buck to the state government to make an enquiry. ECI has blatantly failed in its duty, he said.

“ECI has also failed to take into consideration the ground realities. Officials in all the rural areas are busy with the conduct of Panchayath elections and even in the urban areas the turn out of BLOs during the Special Campaign on 20th January was very poor.

We had represented to EC to postpone the schedule for the revision of the voters list but they have not responded to it. The whole process will be a mere formality,” he said.

The committee has also decided to send a letter to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to draw his attention to the failure of the Election Commission, before the National Voters Day on 25th January, in which the Governor is customarily invited as the Chief Guest. (INN)

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