Voters list mess in poll-bound Karnataka


Bangalore : A family with 90 voters and a town with 30,000 voters in a population of 36,500! These are just some of the glitches in the voters list in poll-bound Karnataka.

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R. Bhattacharya, deputy election commissioner at the Election Commission of India has been in Bangalore for the last three days having talks with state election officials on steps to ensure proper voters list ahead of polls to the 224-member assembly expected in April/May.

The irregularities in the voters list pointed out by people and political parties has forced the state election commission to cancel its plans to release the final list on Jan 10.

Bhattacharya met state chief electoral officer R. Ramaseshan, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (Greater Bangalore City Corporation) commissioner S. Subramanya and senior officials from several districts and told them of the Election Commission’s displeasure over the way the voters lists had been prepared.

The state officials now plan to revise the lists and publish them by the end of this month. They have sought the help of voters to point out anomalies.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Mallikharjun Kharge Friday mentioned the instance of one family in north Karnataka having 90 voters on the list and of Humnabad town in Bidar district that has 30,000 voters in a population of 36,500.

More than 7,000 in the town are school-going children, yet there are 30,000 names in the voters list.

Another Congress leader H.K. Patil said there could be around four million bogus names in the voters list. Karnataka’s population is estimated at 55 million and voting population at around 42 million.

The two other main political parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal-Secular also allege there are many irregularities in the list. The three parties have urged the state and central election officials to rectify the anomalies.