A Congress leader from Telangana’s Nampally, Mohammad Feroz Khan, alleged on Thursday that there are over 40,000 bogus voters in the constituency. Khan also said he has submitted proof to back his claims to both the state election commission and the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday.
According to Khan, he also has proof of voter IDs with the same names registered to different houses, multiple persons registered to non-existent addresses and other discrepancies in the electoral rolls. He also suspects the number of bogus rolls could be as high as 90,000 in his constituency alone.
Khan first contested an election in 2009 with a ticket from the Praja Rajyam Party, which he lost by 5,000-odd votes. He again lost the 2014 state election as a contestant for the TDP, and blamed bogus voters for both his losses.
Soon after the Telangana Assembly was dissolved, Khan, now with the Telangana Congress, said he, along with a team of researchers, scanned through previous electoral rolls for Nampally, “We found different categories of bogus voters. It was common knowledge that there are bogus voters, but this time we decided to gather proof,” said Khan speaking to TNM on Thursday.
The team claims to have found over 18,000 voter ID cards with photos of persons with the same name and same fathers’ names registered cross multiple constituencies. “One person with the name Shameem Akthar had multiple voter ID cards registered with addresses in Nampally, Red Hills and Mehdipatnam. The person had the same photograph, name and father’s name. We used the Telangana election Commission's own app to cross-check these voters,” said Khan. “This practice would allow one person to cast multiple votes.”
Another means by which false votes are cast is by registering a group of people to a single address, alleged the Congress leader.
“There is no house existing by the house number 11/4/627/1 in the municipal administration records but there are 11 persons with voter IDs registered to this address. We checked with the municipal administration and with the post offices, many of the addresses don’t exist anymore, but there are voter id cards registered to those addresses. Some houses have 10 to 20 voters registered under them” added Khan.
Khan also found other discrepancies in the electoral rolls of his constituency. “A voter who residents at Golconda is registered at the Nampally constituency; this means an extra voter. Also there are close to 1,500 names that need to be weeded out of the electoral rolls as these people are not alive, but only 300 names have so far been removed,” he said.
He also blamed the Block Level Officers with the municipal administration for the bogus voters in the constituency and alleged that they were working in cahoots with politicians from the AIMIM.
The state Election Commission acknowledge to the Hyderabad High Court that bogus voters was a problem and said it would look into the matter. The EC will release the final electoral rolls for the state on October 12. Telangana goes to election on December 7, and the results will be out on December 11.