Kerala polls: UDF releases list of 4.3 lakh alleged double voters

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court has issued directions to the Election Commission to ensure that voters only vote once.
Polling officer applying ink onto the finger of a voter
Polling officer applying ink onto the finger of a voter
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The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) on Wednesday released a list of over 4.3 lakh voters whose names are allegedly present multiple times in the voters list for the upcoming Assembly elections on April 6. The list of names have been launched through a website named Operation Twins, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said. The website has made public a list of constituency-wise lists of voters whose names are allegedly appearing multiple times in the voters list. One can enter the district and constituency to get the list of alleged double voters.

“It is through months long effort, we have brought this out. We believe this is necessary for the existence of an independent democracy,” Chennithala wrote on Facebook. He has also added that more details will be updated on the website.

Meanwhile, the High Court on Wednesday directed the Election Commission to take steps to ensure that voters having their names entered multiple times in the voters list vote only once. Disposing a plea filed by Chennithala asking to restrain fake and bogus voters, the court issued directions over the Demographically Similar Entries (DSEs) in the electoral rolls, saying the persons whose names were listed in multiple constituencies submit an affidavit to the effect that they voted only once.

It should be ensured that those who have multiple votes will vote only once, the court said. The court expressed satisfaction over the guidelines submitted by the Election Commission to prevent double voting. The court issued directions that the postal votes be stored along with the VVPAT machines in the strong room. The postal ballot boxes should be sealed in the presence of the candidates or their agents. The whole process should be videographed, the court said.

Meanwhile, Chennithala expressed surprise over the Election Commission's finding that there are only 38,586 Demographically Similar Entries (DSEs) in the electoral rolls in Kerala. His reaction came a day after the poll body informed the Kerala High Court that its intensive analysis had led to the identification of only 38,586 DSEs from 3,16,671 entries in electoral rolls. The EC had said it found the 38,586 DSEs after analysing the data provided by political parties.

Speaking to reporters, Chennithala said, "The EC had told the court that there are only 38,586 DSEs. That's very surprising. Bogus voters were added to the voters' list across the state." The Leader of Opposition had alleged that a scrutiny of the electoral rolls would prove that there were more than 4,34,042 fake and multiple entry voters in these Assembly segments.

"Across 140 constituencies, I have lodged 4,34,000 complaints regarding the bogus voters. I stand firm by that. The complaints were verified," he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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