NEW DELHI: Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer on Saturday cautioned people against “misleading calls” claiming deletion of their names from electoral rolls. His word of caution came after a BJP delegation met the Chief Election Commissioner and alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been making such phone calls.
The statement from the poll panel drew a sharp reaction from AAP national convener and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who said the Election Commission “must not be allowed to become an agent of a political party”.
The office of the Delhi CEO, in the statement, said it had been brought to its notice that a “large number of calls have been received from unknown persons/entities/sources by many citizens of Delhi telling them that their names have already been deleted in the electoral roll and the callers will get the same restored in the electoral roll”.
“The citizens of Delhi are hereby advised to beware of such misleading calls coming from unknown persons/entities/sources. The only authority to add or delete a name in the electoral roll is Electoral Registration Officer. Separate legal action as required/deemed appropriate is being taken,” the statement read.
The BJP delegation, led by Union minister Vijay Goel, had on Friday requested the Chief Election Commissioner to issue a clarification on “bogus claims” by the AAP that names of 30 lakh voters in Delhi were deleted from electoral rolls.
The Election Commission should come out with a press statement to “expose” lies spread by the Arvind Kejriwal-led party, Goel had said.
After the poll panel came out with the final voter list in January, the AAP had launched sustained attacks on the BJP alleging its hand behind the “deletion” of names of 30 lakh voters, particularly of Purvanchali, Muslims and Bania communities, since the assembly election in Delhi in 2015.
Reacting sharply to the statement by the poll panel, Kejriwal said on Twitter, “Incumbents come n go. EC is too precious an institution for Indian democracy. EC’s integrity n credibility ought to be protected. EC must not be allowed to become an agent of a political party (sic).”
In a series of tweets, he said, “EC shud answer- 1. 22 lakh names wrongly deleted in Telangana- Didn’t EC apologise? 2. Why were Jwala Gutta n her family names missing at polling centre tho they existed on EC website? (sic).”
“AAP won’t allow Telangana it in Del (sic),” the CM tweeted.
AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said Chief Minister Kejriwal is fighting with the Election Commission and he will get every voter’s name added to the electoral rolls that has been illegally deleted at the behest of the BJP.
With agency inputs