Of the 8 lakh voter deletion forms received online by the Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission (EC), 95% of voters were found to be genuine based on the door to door verification. This is what Gopalakrishna Dwivedi, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for Andhra Pradesh, told TNM on Friday.
In the last 15 days, over 8 lakh Form 7s meant to delete voters from electoral rolls were submitted online. The state EC verified over 5.5 lakh forms and found “roughly 30,000 to 40,000” bogus voters. The rest were all genuine voters. The EC is left to verify 2.5 lakh voters and expects their 45,920-strong Booth Level Officers (BLOs) to complete the verification process in the next three days.
The mass filing of Form-7s for voter deletion has created a political storm in Andhra Pradesh. The YSRC led by Jagan Mohan Reddy has claimed that his party was proactively submitting Form 7s online in an attempt to get bogus and duplicate voters deleted from the state electoral rolls. The party believes these bogus voters were added by the ruling TDP to tip the balance of election results in their favour.
However, YSRC party’s narrative that there are over 58 lakh bogus voters in the state appears to have been debunked by the Andhra state EC.
The mass filing of voter deletion forms had resulted in the state EC approaching the police and filing over 45 FIRs, mostly against MeeSeva operators for uploading the forms. The investigations are still ongoing. The state EC has also approached Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to obtain the IP addresses from where the Form-7s were uploaded en masse.
“We have verified several lakh Form-7s and found that not more than 5% were truthful. The number of 8 lakh forms doesn’t matter to us. Suppose one or two forms are wrong, it is ok, it could be an error. But when 95 per cent are false, this is mischief and does nothing other than increasing our workload,” said the CEO.
He added, “We have more than 45,920 BLOs going door to door and verifying. I can’t guarantee that all of them are doing their job properly also. So if someone colludes with someone, then some wrong persons could also be deleted.”
The CEO said that Form 7 can be filed by anyone, but filing it using 'patently false claims' with the sole intention of getting voter names removed from electoral rolls is a crime.