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Ahead of Assembly elections 2021, Congress alleges voters' list 'fraud' in Kerala; Moves Election Commission


New Delhi, Mar 26: The Congress on Friday alleged that the LDF government in Kerala was committing electoral "fraud" in cahoots with the state election machinery by enrolling bogus voters, and moved the Election Commission seeking corrective measures for ensuring "free and fair" polls.


Kerala goes to polls on April 6. Counting of votes will take place on May 2 along with Tamil Nadu, Assam, West Bengal and Puducherry. A delegation of Congress leaders met with the election commissioners in the central election commission and alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government was "committing a fraud" in collusion with officials of the state election machinery by inducting "dubious voters, double voters and voters with fraudulent identities".

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Addressing the media over the Congress delegation's meeting with the EC officials, party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the delegation pointed out three particular instances of fraud -- same voter registered in different booths; person's name, father's name and photograph being same but registered as a voter in different assembly constituencies; and photograph of voter remaining same but the name changing in different IDs.

"So, this is a clear cut instance of fraud. Everyone knows that in a politically aware state like Kerala, the victory and loss margins are very small. In a dubious and fraudulent fashion, the LDF government in cahoots with the state election machinery, is enrolling such voters. We have given evidence of eight assembly constituencies," he said.

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The Congress general secretary said the party has urged the commission to clean the voters' list within one week so that a "free and fair" election can be held. The Congress has asked the EC to take action against officers who are guilty of this fraud and have tampered with the list in a manner so as to soil the majesty and transparency of the election process, Surjewala said.

He said the party also wants a criminal case be registered against a voter who has got himself or herself registered multiple times or with the same photograph under different names. This is fraud under different sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Congress leader said.

"We requested the EC to delete all such voters immediately," Surjewala said. "The EC heard us and based on an earlier representation that the Congress party had given, they have already taken four actions," he said. They have suspended the officer who had ensured enrolment of the same voter at different places, Surjewala said.

"The commission also informed us that in the eight constituencies, where specific evidence was given, the chief electoral officer (CEO) has been given a written direction to look into it and clean the list failing which action will be taken against the CEO," he said The EC has now deputed an officer from Delhi to supervise the cleaning of the voters' list, Surjewala said.

They will ensure and issue directions that nobody can vote twice, he said. In its memorandum, signed by senior leaders, including Surjewala, Abhishek Singhvi, Ajay Maken and Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, the party claimed that booth level workers after conducting close scrutiny of the state voters' list have unearthed huge discrepancies in the data published by the CEO Kerala.

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