A Head of the Assembly elections in Delhi, likely to be held in November this year, some politicians are leaving no stone unturned to ensure their victory, albeit through foul means. Though, with the changing time and technology it has almost become impossible to capture the booth or adopt other illegal means during the polling, some of the politicians are burning the midnight oil to find loopholes in the existing system. It came to light with the sudden surface of over 10 lakh bogus voters requesting inclusion of their names in the voters list. Surprisingly, these 10 lakh voters surfaced only within last three weeks of June.
The scam involving some politicians was unearthed by the Election Commission itself. On the complaints of Chief Electoral Officer Satinder Silas Bedi, Delhi Police registered 100 FIRs against bogus voters and more cases are likely to be registered in coming days.
A total of 40 lakh additional names were added to the electoral rolls in June this year. But the election officials became suspicious of about 30 per cent of them during a month-long door-to-door verification as part of the electoral roll preparation in sync with new Assembly constituencies being re-drawn after the de-limitation order. ?The electoral roll reviewed in March had 1.2 crore people listed. Another 40 lakh were added after that. But when we began to investigate, we found that around 10 lakh applications were incomplete and did not have the requisite documents,? Smt. Bedi said.
According to the Election Commission, a large number of bogus applications were received from Outer Delhi assembly constituencies including Nangloi Jat, Madipur, Burari, Okhla, Samaypur Badli, Sultanpur Majra, Kirari, Mundka, Gokalpuri and Patel Nagar. ?The investigating teams visited nearly 19,000 households in Patel Nagar in West Delhi, and they could verify merely 19 people with correct information,? Smt Bedi pointed out.
The overall verification process is still on with area booth-level officers carrying out the door-to-door verification process. The officers will tabulate the data by July 31. A draft electoral list will be published on August 1. All clarifications and objections could be filed by August 16. The final electoral roll will be completed on September 15.
The names of these 10 lakh bogus voters have been included in the voters lists on the basis of forged ration cards. The Food and Civil Supplies Minister of Delhi, Harun Yusuf admitted at a press conference that a total of 1,70,598 bogus ration cards have been issued in Delhi. They include 11,256 under Antyodaya Yojna category, 17,364 under BPL category and 1,41,978 under APL category. According to sources, the actual number of bogus ration cards in Delhi are over two lakh. This is also a fact that over 95 per cent of the fair price shops and kerosene depots in Delhi are owned by influential political people close to the Congress party and these people played a key role in making these bogus ration cards. The preliminary investigation by the Food Department reveals that most of the fake ration cards have been detected from Mangol Puri constituency represented by the PWD Minister Rajkumar Chauhan.
While the Congress is still silent on the unearthing of the scam, the BJP Delhi unit demanded removal of the names of all bogus voters from the electoral rolls. Delhi BJP chief Dr Harsh Vardhan alleged that the Congress is exerting pressure on the election office to go slow on its inquiries into bogus voter ID forms. The BJP also demanded that the interferences of Congress ministers, legislators, councillors and other leaders in the work of the rectification of the electoral rolls should be stopped immediately. Apart from deleting the names of all bogus voters, the BJP also demanded to remove the names of illegal Bangladeshi citizens who have enrolled themselves as voters.
?Congress has always resorted to dirty tricks of enrolling bogus voters because it is well aware that its defeat is imminent. So the Congress is adopting the tactics of enrolling bogus voters to avoid the crushing defeat. Keeping in view this fact, the schedule for Assembly elections should be announced only after a full enquiry into the matter and rectifying the voters lists,? Dr Harsh Vardhan demanded.