Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala has hit out at election officials for lapses after it came to light that his mother has two votes. Chennithala said that no action was taken despite sending an application to the election officials.
The opposition leader's mother Devaki Amma is a registered voter from Haripad. Initially, Chennithala and his family were registered voters from Alappuzha’s Thripperumthura Grama Panchayat but transferred their vote to the Haripad camp office address ahead of the Kerala Assembly election.
The senior Congress leader had filed an application with election officials to cancel his mother’s vote from Thripperumthura Grama Panchayat, but no action was taken. As a result, her name turned up in two constituencies.
Meanwhile, the CPM came out with allegations that Kazhakoottam United Democratic Front (UDF) Dr SS Lal has double votes from the Vattiyoorkavu constituency. However, Lal said that the election officials are at fault as they did not remove his name when he applied for a new election card.
Bogus votes and double votes have been a major issue ahead of the Kerala Assembly elections. The Leader of Opposition was the first to bring to the Election Commission's (EC) attention that many people have double votes. Kerala Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena confirmed Chennithala’s claim on bogus voting and double votes.
The senior Congress leader filed a petition in the Kerala High Court on rigged voting. The court has sought an explanation from the EC on the matter. Chennithala pointed out in his petition that despite repeated complaints on bogus voting, the Commission has taken no action. EC had conveyed their difficulties to Chennithala in removing bogus votes from the voters' list. The opposition leader demanded that the EC should freeze double votes.