Kerala Oppn Leader Ramesh Chennithala lauds Election Commission efforts to root out fake voters
Ramesh Chennithala and Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Oppn Leader Ramesh Chennithala lauds Election Commission efforts to root out fake voters

However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that irregularities in the voter list are not due to an organised movement but that the Congress had rigged the polls in isolated places

Addressing a press conference, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala strongly stands by his claim of voter list irregularities. He alleged that around four lakh fake voters have entered the voter list and that it was aided by CPM sympathisers. While lauding the Election Commission, the Congress leader demanded disciplinary action against employees if found participating in such irregularities. He added that there are booths in Kasargod and Kannur where other parties are not allowed to stay.

According to Chennithala, one photo has been used for hundreds of voters and there are thousands of people voting in two places. “They erase the ink and go vote in two places. The voters’ list should be flawless and so I am handing over the list of the fake votes to the Election Commission. We don’t need the help of the commission, but they must take action if the claims are proven true,” said Ramesh Chennithala, adding that Kumari in Uduma is not at fault and the Booth Level Officer must investigate it.

However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the irregularities in the voter list are not due to an organised movement. He alleged that the Congress had rigged the polls in isolated places and that the Election Commission should check everything.

According to Chennithala, anti-government sentiment is strong among the people of the state. He claimed that there was a huge turnout for all the UDF programmes and that there was an unprecedented turnout in Rahul Gandhi’s events as well. Addressing the pre-poll survey issue, Chennithala said that the media outlets conducted the opinion polls much before the candidate selection and manifesto release fearing a change in government. He alleged that some major channels were taking a unilateral stand in violation of democratic norms and that the media had vested interests. The opposition leader warned that this trend was dangerous for democracy.

Ramesh Chennithala and Pinarayi Vijayan
Why pre-poll surveys are misleading rather than indicative of an election: the Kerala example

“Pinarayi Vijayan is taking Modi’s stand on buying the media. The UDF not only has to go against the government’s fat wallet but also the stoning from the media. All the surveys are defaming the opposition leader, and the questions are in favour of the government, Chennithala said, alleging that the surveys were conducted by calling 100-200 people and called it people’s mandate. The Congress leader reiterated his allegation that the same agency was used for surveys by four different channels. He added that the government has no rating in front of the people and they are rejecting the surveys.

Earlier, Chennithala had alleged that it [pre-poll surveys predicting the return of the incumbent government] is the media’s thanks to the LDF government for the Rs 200 Crore advertisement, and such a quid-pro-quo is not media ethics. He added that many of the pre-poll surveys, which predict the LDF returning to power, are an effort to whitewash the many corruptions of the government. KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran had claimed that they have had a few survey companies approaching them “with assurance od surveys that will favour Congress if they are adequately compensated”.

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