In a major crisis ahead of the elections, Andhra police have registered as many as 45 cases against offenders who were submitting applications for deleting voters en masse from electoral rolls online, without the knowledge of the voters.
According to the Election Commission of India, they received eight lakh applications, requesting deletion of names from voters list. State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi through a press release informed that a week ago, they have been receiving a large number of Form-7 (request to delete name from voters' list) following which they complained to the police.
According to reports, in Vizag alone, nearly four lakh applications were filed seeking deletion and correction of voter names, which raised suspicion among officials.
"Certain mischievous people are applying Form-7 online for deletion of names from voters list en masse. This is mischief and illegal act needed to be curtailed. Police were instructed to investigate and take criminal action in such cases, if found true. District collectors were advised to lodge FIRs for this kind of mischief," the CEO said in a press release.
Among the offenders, a few were Mee Seva staff. The district collectors have taken action against them besides complaining to the police. Police booked the offenders under charges of cheating by impersonation, forgery etc.
Assuring voters, the CEO said that the name of an eligible voter will not be deleted. He said that for deletion of names, the poll officials will conduct three rounds of verification.
It may be recalled that earlier in February, Opposition leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy met the Chief Election Commissioner of India and complained against the TDP. He had accused the TDP-led government of exploiting government apps, collecting data and deleting the names of YSRCP supporters. He accused that the government was giving double votes to TDP supporters, and deleting names of voters who were in favour of YSRCP.