Ghost voters haunt the Congress during the parliamentary election in the Dera Bassi assembly segment.
The addresses of empty plots and individuals signed up multiple times are on the electoral rolls in the assembly segment where the voting population has risen 21% in one year, highest jump in Punjab, the party has stated on the basis of physical verification.
At polling station 039 (Mamta Envlave, Dhakoli, in Zirakpur area), the Congress claims to have dug out 59 dubious voters on a list of 1,060.
The assembly segment in SAS Nagar district is part of the Patiala Lok Sabha seat. The local legislator, chief parliamentary secretary NK Sharma, is a realtor-turned-politician close to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The Dera Bassi administration has denied that the voter list is inaccurate but the Congress candidate Preneet Kaur has stood by her claim, saying her party hired a private agency to do independent verification after the administration failed to listen. “The survey was only in one locality of Zirakpur; still, the results are shocking,” she said.
Voters 341 (Parveen Kumar, ID YGJ0427914), 611 (Bal Mohan Sharma, ID YGJ0424192) are registered on a vacant plot. Voter 509 (Anjana Puri, ID YGJ0524778) is registered twice, with same photograph and address but different ID, as one of the many cases. Nearly 47 voters don’t live on the given address. The Congress has moved the list to the chief electoral officer (CEO).
“This is data for only one colony. The list is full of non-existent voters in more than 200 localities, including new development in Zirakpur. The total bogus voters in Dera Bassi might be several thousand,” said Preneet Kaur, demanding that the names be deleted and officials taken to inquiry.
She seeks the transfer of the entire staff of the Dera Bassi electoral registration officer, besides proceedings against them as responsible directly for the registration of bogus votes. “I demand physical verification of the entire segment’s voter list,” said Preneet Kaur.
In spite of several attempts, state CEO VK Singh was unavailable for comments. Dera Bassi assistant returning officer Sanjiv Kumar, however, said the administration had verified all allegations and reported to the commission that these were false. “There’s no anomaly at the executive office, municipal council or at the office of the tehsildar, who cross-checked all votes personally,” he added.