Large-scale irregularities in Gujarat electoral rolls: Cong

Ahmedabad: The Congress in Gujarat on Tuesday alleged large-scale irregularities in the electoral rolls prepared by the State Election Commission (SEC) and said the Central Election Commission has been informed about this.

As many as 25 lakh bogus voters have found their way in the electoral rolls, party leaders said here.

"We have analysed the electoral roll for each Assembly constituency prepared by the Election Commission in October 2009. There are large-scale irregularities in the voters' list and it appears that it has been tampered with," Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee President Siddharth Patel told media persons here.

Patel said they have filed a written complaint in this regard with the SEC and Central Election Commission.

"We have found that one Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) number has been assigned to multiple voters. And this is not all, the same EPIC number, in number of cases, been assigned to voters of other Assembly constituencies," Patel alleged.

He said, "such an irregularity could not be termed as mistake; tampering has been deliberately done" and "in all, we believe that there are 25 lakh names in the voters' list which could be fake or bogus."

"We believe that the additional names in the list could have affected the results of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections (in Gujarat). Therefore, we have asked the Election Commission to revise the rolls at the earliest," Patel said.

The GPCC President said such irregularities could prove to be more damaging with the introduction of the e-voting during the forthcoming municipal elections.

In the e-voting system it is not required for the voter to go to the polling booth, Patel said, adding that each voter would be given a code using which he could vote online.

This would prove more harmful and give rise to further irregularities, he contended.

"We are awaiting the response from the State Election Commission, after which we would take further action."

Officials of the State Election Commission confirmed they have received complaint from the GPCC, but declined to provide further details.