Close on the heels of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s accusation that the opposition party YSR Congress was deleting the names of pro-TDP voters, YSRCP Chief Jaganmohan Reddy said that his party had filed bunches of online voter deletion forms in Andhra Pradesh, in order to delete bogus voters.
Jagan, who was addressing his supporters, claimed that through the Seva Mitra app, TDP’s official mobile application, data was being used to profile voters and delete them from the electoral rolls.
"He (Naidu) got caught stealing, and instead of apologizing, he is blaming that others are thieves. We made an appeal to enlist original voters and delete bogus voters. Our people submitted the Form-7s, he (Naidu) was the one who stole the data and included bogus voters. He is doing the crime and claiming that we are the ones who are wrong," Jagan said. Form 7 is an application for voter deletion.
Jagan had met with the Chief Election Commissioner for India and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer in February where he presented him with a pen drive, allegedly containing the list of 58 lakh bogus and duplicate voters in the state for the EC to delete. Jagan had claimed that 29 lakh bogus voters in the state were from Telangana. "We complained to the central election commission, state election commission and submitted Form-7 to delete bogus voters. This they are calling a crime," he added.
Jagan’s statement comes at a time when the Andhra Pradesh police have registered over 45 FIRs across the state based on complaints made by the Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission. The state EC on Sunday told media that mischievous attempts have been made to delete voters en masse by using applying for Form-7 on behalf of the voter without their consent. According to reports, the ECI received as many 8 lakh applications, seeking deletion of voters.
The state EC had instructed the police to investigate and take criminal action in such cases if the allegations were found true. They have also written to Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) for ascertaining the IP addresses to ascertain where the forms were filed from. The matter is currently being investigated by the police.
The YSRCP, however, has maintained that there was no wrongdoing on their part. YSRCP MP YV Subbu Reddy told TNM that the party only deleted voters that they found were duplicate and bogus voters.
“We don’t see any problem,” said the leader referring to Jagan's statement at Nellore. “We have filed Form 7 applications online where double entries are there. Only for those double votes we have filed applications, what party they belong to don’t matter. Let the Election Commission investigate if there was something wrongly filed by us, let them find out,” said the MP.
Filing Form-7 online is a straight forward simple process, the only issue being that anyone can file a form on behalf of the voter. The EC does not send any text or email alerts to the voter informing that a Form 7 for vote deletion has been applied in their name. The EC only involves in the verification process.
Submitting a Form 7 online is a fairly straightforward process. All one needs is the voter card or the EPIC numbers and details that are already mentioned in the card. The only security feature is a captcha. The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO), to whom the letter is addressed, to must then send a Booth Level Officer (BLO) to go door to door and verify if the voter is still a resident at the address given in the electoral rolls. Based on the BLO’s feedback, the voter gets deleted or is retained.