BENGALURU: A coding error in the Karnataka State Election Commission website (www.ceokarnataka.kar.nic.in) forced the EC to verify 45,900 applications from across the state which had been rejected on the ground that they were ‘non-citizens’.
This had led to a flood of allegations against the EC including complaints that voter IDs were issued to Bangladeshi citizens. Also, a petition was filed with the Election Commission of India alleging that those applications were rejected based on religion.
However, a house-to-house survey of these applicants revealed that only 30 were rejected based on their nationality — 27 Nepalese and 3 Tibetans — while the rest were rejected as the applicants were not residing at the address mentioned in their voter IDs.
Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka, Sanjiv Kumar, on Wednesday said that due to the coding error, the reason for rejection of application was wrongly shown as ‘non-citizen’ rather than ‘non-resident’.
An organisation based in Delhi had petitioned the ECI three months ago alleging that only members of a particular community were removed from the voters’ list.
Based on the petition, the ECI directed the State Election Commission to verify all the rejected applications to ensure whether people from other countries were issued voter IDs. Joint Chief Electoral Officer Surya Sen A V said, “We were able to trace back the reasons for the rejection of these applications. The survey was held in November and December.”
Election panel pitches for enrolment of young voters
With only 50% of the youth aged between 18 and 21 years enrolled in the voters’ list, the Karnataka Election Commission has urged new voters to enrol for the Lok Sabha elections. Those who have turned 18 on January 1, 2019, will be eligible.
Addressing media on Wednesday, Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said that while they had projected 15 lakh fresh enrolments of voters between ages of 18-21, only seven lakh had enrolled. He also urged political parties to appoint booth-level agents in each of the 58,186 polling stations. The state has 5.03 crore voters and 29,484 service voters. The number is expected to increase by a few lakhs.