Four lakh bogus voters and counting, says Kerala Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala
In a press meet in Kannur, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala came up with fresh allegations regarding the irregularities in the voters’ list. He said that the opposition has so far found four lakh bogus voters in the electoral rolls and has provided the details to the Election Commission. He demanded that the names of those falsely included on the list be deleted so that only genuine voters could exercise their franchise.
Chennithala went on to allege that officials affiliated to the ruling CPM were facilitating bogus voting, a charge that has been vehemently denied by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
“Four lakh bogus voters have entered the voters’ list when the difference of votes between the LDF and the UDF in an election is just between one lakh and two lakh,” Chennithala said. He added that such irregularities were rampant in Kasaragod and Kannur districts where polling booths are virtually controlled by the ruling party.
The Opposition leader said a complaint had been earlier lodged alleging that fake voters were created by repeating the photo and information of the same person. Now, it had been found that fake voters were created under other names and addresses using a photo of the same person.
Chennithala demanded stern action be taken against the officials concerned for the inclusion of fake votes in the voter’s list and said the Election Commission had now taken action against officials who allegedly added five people to a booth in a constituency.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called the Opposition’s allegations of voter fraud groundless. “The people, whose names were added to the voters’ list, clearly said they were Congress workers and that the party leaders included them in the list. There was no organised move behind the duplication of voters’ names,” said Pinarayi.
According to the CM, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Teeka Ram Meena had already clarified that duplication of voters had happened earlier as well. “The officials are examining it and they will take necessary action,” he said. Meanwhile, the CEO said that the fresh complaints of Chennithala are also being looked into. “The Opposition Leader has given a list of certain constituencies, but we have decided to conduct a thorough check in all 140 constituencies,” Meena said.