SEC deleted voters' names at behest of Guj govt, alleges Cong

Congress called for a thorough probe into the alleged "removal" of voters' names from electoral list.

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Congress on Sunday alleged that thousands of voters in Ahmedabad could not exercise their franchise for the municipal polls held on Sunday as their names were deliberately removed from the list by the State Election Commission (SEC) at the behest of BJP-led Gujarat government.

Alleging that "removal" of voters' names was part of a "larger conspiracy", Congress called for a thorough probe into it, even as the ruling BJP said the government or the party had no role preparation of voting lists.

Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki claimed that 1,000 to 4,000 names in each of the 48 wards of the city were deleted from the final electoral rolls by the SEC without informing the voters or candidates.

The Congress leader claimed that when voters reached the booths, they began to complain that they found their names deleted without any prior information.

"We learnt that around 1,000 to 4,000 names in each ward were deleted from the final list in the city. Not just city, it has happened across the state today. When we raised this issue with election officials, they refused to give any answer," Solanki alleged in a press conference.

He claimed that majority of the voters, whose names were deleted, belong to the Patel community.

"Since this community has turned against the ruling BJP (after the quota agitation), the SEC has deleted these anti- BJP voters across the city as well as state. We demand that all such voters be allowed to cast their votes," said Solanki.

According to him, this was deliberately done by the SEC at the behest of BJP-led state government.

"Instead of organising free and fair polls, it seems that SEC is working as a part of the ruling BJP. This is purely a politically motivated step by the SEC. This is a direct attack on democratic and constitutional rights of the citizens, who are deprived of their voting right," he alleged.

However, BJP refuted Congress's allegations saying that SEC works independently and the BJP government as well as the party had no role in preparation of voters' list.

"Voters' list is prepared by Central Election Commission. Congress should not blame BJP for it as the state government or BJP has no role in preparation of the list. Names of some of our voters are also missing from the voters' list," state BJP spokesperson I K Jadeja said.

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