HYDERABAD: The Congress in Telangana Friday charged the Election Commission with inaction over missing names in the voters' list in the state.
Former Congress MLA M Shashidhar Reddy, who heads the state Congress' committee to coordinate with EC, also accused the election authorities in the state of coming under the influence of ruling TRS.
Hitting out at Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Reddy, a former vice chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), said he would write to all those leaders whom Rao meets as part of efforts to forge a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front.
"After the December 7 polls (in Telangana), the Chief Electoral Officer came out, saying that we apologise. Lakhs of names are missing (from voters' lists). He assured that before Lok Sabha elections they will rectify things," Reddy told reporters.
"Now, how are we going to believe this man, he is part of the Election Commission. So, the doubts and aspersions are cast on the entire Election Commission and the way it is functioning," he said.
Reddy, who has been raising the issue, claimed that he had cited an instance of how 742 names were illegally deleted out of a total of 2,701 falling in three polling booths at a village in Utnoor mandal in Adilabad district.
This was noticed during a bypoll in 2017 for the post of Sarpanch, but the CEO and the state election commission did not act swiftly to correct it, he alleged.
The Congress met the Election Commission in Delhi last year to point out the alleged errors, following which the state CEO was apprised of it, he said.
It is still being verified as to who is responsible for the deletion of 742 names in the village, he claimed.
In 2002, a District Collector was suspended in Uttar Pradesh within months after an inquiry when an instance of irregularities in electoral rolls of 20,000 names was taken up with the CEC J M Lyngdoh, he said.
"For one constituency, 20,000 names, the district Collector was suspended. Here, we got 68 lakh discrepencies to their notice. They are remaining silent," he alleged.
"You are not willing to take any action. This is only because of the pressures from the ruling party. Only they are toeing their line. The Chief Minister has been always behaving as if the Election Commission is in his pockets. The Election Commission is proving the Chief Minister to be right," he said.
Noting that the state cabinet had recently passed a resolution thanking the CEO for conducting the Assembly elections (peacefully), he claimed that no state cabinet or the Union Cabinet ever passed such a resolution thanking the CEO or EC.
"The state (election) commission, Delhi commission, all are in tacit understanding with ruling party," he alleged. The Congress would not remain silent on the issue, he said. The names of voters who voted in the Assembly polls are missing from Panchayat voters lists (ongoing local body polls), he claimed. Even earlier, names of voters were illegally deleted, he claimed.
"It's a conspiracy by the state Chief Minister to resort to this type of illegal deletions," he said. Observing that Congress has failed to "understand the level to which the government has gone," he said it is one of the major factors that contributed to his party's defeat in the Assembly polls.
The procedure for preparing intensive revision of electoral rolls is not followed, he alleged.
"Totally, today, the number of deleted voters names in CEO website crossed 30 lakh," he said.
After facing flak over missing names in voters list in recent assembly polls, the Election authorities in Telangana have launched a unique voter outreach programme of sending letters with reply postcards to one crore people seeking grievances if any.
Under the initiative launched a few days ago, over 10 lakh letters with self-addressed reply postcards had already been delivered by the booth-level staff across the state, Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar had said.
The aim was to cover one crore voters by January 20, he said adding if the voters had any issue regarding the voters list they can record the same in the postcard, addressed to the office of the CEO, and post it.