Thiruvananthapuram: The CPM has conspired to delete the names of at least 10 lakh people who support the UDF from the voters’ list for the recent Lok Sabha elections held in Kerala, Congress working committee member Oommen Chandy has alleged.
“This is an unprecedented action in the electoral history of Kerala. Massive fraud has taken place with the connivance of the CPM,” said Chandy.
Explaining the situation, the former Chief Minister said that according to the final voters’ list for the Lok Sabha elections 2019 published in April 2019, there are 2.61 crore voters in Kerala. This is a mere 1.32 lakh increase over the 2.60 crore voters in the list for the 2016 Assembly elections.
“The increase between the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and 2011 Assembly elections was 12.88 lakh voters. From 2011 Assembly to 2014 Parliament polls, the state saw a rise of 11.04 lakh voters. From 2014 Lok Sabha to 2016 Assembly elections, the number of voters went up by 17.5 lakh,” pointed out Chandy.
First-time voters enrolled since 2018 number 5.5 lakh, according to Election Commission figures. Between 2016 and 2018, another 5 lakh youngsters attained 18 years of age and became eligible to vote. In other words, these 10 lakh new voters were also in the list for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls which showed a total figure of 2.61 crores.
“The task of adding and deleting names in the voters’ list rests with the deputy tahsildars in 77 taluks. Of these 77 officials, 74 are members of the Left union. The clerks working under these deputy tahsildars also owe allegiance to the Left. The CPM sabotaged the voters’ list using these government employees,” alleged the Congress leader.
In case a person is to be removed from the voters’ list, a notice has to be served on him or her. “But the LDF government did not issue the notice to 10 lakh voters. It is clear that the process was totally illegal,” said Chandy.
BLOs (Booth-level officers) have been given the duty of reporting about deceased voters, those whose houses are not occupied etc. A final decision on removing them from the voters’ list should be taken only after sending a notice and conducting field verification. “No such procedures were carried out by the officials, suggesting malpractice. Exemplary punishment should be meted out to these officials,” said Chandy.
Referring to the fraud regarding the 50,000 postal votes of police officers, Chandy welcomed the Chief Electoral Officer’s directive to complete an elaborate probe by May 15 into the affair after examining the DGP’s report. “The conspiracy involved in usurping postal votes of police officers is a matter of great concern. The probe should expose all the police officers involved in the murky affair,” said the Congress leader.
“As it has become clear that the police officers had given away their postal ballots under duress, all these ballot papers have to be cancelled and new ones issued,” demanded Chandy.