Cong releases list of 4.3 lakh alleged double voters in Kerala, EC says ‘clerical error’

Updated on Apr 01, 2021 05:49 PM IST

The Election Commission had told the High Court on Wednesday that it found only 38,586 double entries and cited most of the entries as clerical errors.

Patna: Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) sealing officers check EVMs and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) ahead of the second phase of Bihar assembly polls, in Patna, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI30-10-2020_000042A) (PTI)
Patna: Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) sealing officers check EVMs and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) ahead of the second phase of Bihar assembly polls, in Patna, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI30-10-2020_000042A) (PTI)

With just four days left for the crucial assembly elections, Kerala opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday night released a list of over 4.3 lakh voters whose names allegedly appear multiple times in the voters’ list - a move that has left the Election Commission red-faced. The list of multiple entries was released through a website named ‘operation twins.com.’

It carried a constituency-wise list of multiple entries - one can easily enter the district and a particular constituency to get the list of alleged double voters.

While hearing a plea, the Election Commission had told the High Court on Wednesday that it found only 38,586 double entries and cited most of the entries as clerical errors. Later, the Court had upheld its views and asked it to take strict measures to curb the malpractice.

“It took months to unravel this. It was a laborious job. We have no intention to delay or postpone the poll but we believe this is necessary for the existence of democracy in the country,” said Chennithala after releasing the website.

He said he was shocked to hear the EC’s tepid response that out of three lakh suspected votes that were scrutinised, there were only 38,586 multiple entries.

The ruling CPI(M) criticised the opposition leader’s decision and said it was a ploy to delay the poll in the state. “We find it is a serious breach of data. Personal information of many voters was leaked. We found that details came from a foreign country. We will investigate this after we assume power,” said senior party leader MA Baby.

Chennthala, however, continued to ridicule the ruling party saying, “it was running after alibis after getting caught red-handed”. The EC said there will be a strict vigil this time to contain any bogus voting.

Interestingly, many constituencies in Kerala usually witness a close fight and wafer-thin margins. In such cases, duplicate votes play a key role. The opposition leader had earlier alleged that government officials having allegiance to the left trade unions were behind the move. In north Kerala in party villages, complaints of bogus voting are rampant in every election. In most cases, voters were not even aware of having more than one vote leaving party workers to cast these double votes.

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