The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Telangana's Nizamabad district has alleged that there are at least 1.25 lakh bogus voters in the electoral roll published by the state Election Commission.
K Kavitha from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, is the incumbent MP in Nizamabad.
Speaking to reporters after filing a complaint with the Election Commission earlier this week, BJP leader D Arvind said, "In the recently-held Legislative Assembly elections in Telangana, there were at least 1.25 lakh bogus voters in the seven constituencies that come under the Nizamabad MP seat."
"When KCR insists before the elections that BJP candidates will not even retain their deposit and makes predictions about how many seats his party will win, this is how they do it. We know that many of these bogus voters were made to 'vote'. We have also noticed that 80 per cent of these bogus voters are in polling booths where there are a large number of minorities," he alleged.
He also highlighted one case where an EPIC (electorâs photo identity card) was issued for a woman named 'Ra', whose fatherâs name was stated as 'Na' from the electoral list that the EC released in February.
"In Nizamabad urban Assembly segment alone, there are more than 47,000 such bogus voters," he alleged.
Speaking to TNM, Arvind said, "For example, if a name is Anwar, bogus votes would be created and spelled Anwer, Anvar, Anver. The father's name will be the same, along with the photo and house number but EPIC numbers will be different. I have given the list to the Election Commission with EPIC numbers."
"There are also discrepancies where without a photo, there is a voter ID. There were two voters with the same picture, one zoomed in and one zoomed out. Such cases are plenty," he added.
He also pointed out that many voters were missing door numbers and demanded that the TRS and the Election Commission answer how many bogus voters they identified and struck off the list. The BJP leader also said that he would approach the High Court over the issue.
There is also politics at play. Arvind is the son of senior leader D Srinivas who was with the TRS. In June last year, several party MPs and MLAs led by Kavitha wrote a four-page letter to KCR, accusing Srinivas, a former Congress leader, of creating several factions in Nizamabad and sabotaging the TRS from within. Calling him an âopportunistâ for inducting his son, Arvind, into the BJP, they accused him of sabotaging the party to ensure his sonâs elevation.
âParty workers have brought to our notice many times that D Srinivas has been asking the cadre to work for another party. If he cannot control his family issues, the party will suffer in the future,â Kavitha had told reporters at the time.
Multiple calls to contact District Revenue Officer (DRO) A Anjaiah, who is the returning officer for the district, went unanswered.
Elections to 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana will be held on April 11, 2019. The state will see a single phase election and the counting of ballots for the entire country will be held on May 23. As the model code of conduct is already in place in Telangana, any deletion of voter names from the electoral rolls would require permission from the ECI in New Delhi. The political contest in Telangana will largely be between the TRS, and the Congress.