In the wake of allegations of voter data theft, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Karnataka Manoj Kumar Meena on Monday said the question of deletion of voters based on caste and community from the electoral roll does not arise.
The CEO stated this after Congress alleged that names of minorities and some downtrodden communities were deleted based on the data provided by the co-founder of the Chilume Educational Cultural and Rural Development Institute (Chilume Trust).
A section of the media reported that names of people belonging to particular communities have been deleted. In view of the reports, the clarification is imperative, said the CEO.
Electoral rolls do not contain any information related to caste/religion of voters, hence the question of deletion of names based on caste/community from the electoral rolls does not arise, Meena said in a statement.
According to him, names of people who are dead or those who moved to other places are deleted by following due process of law.
Further, possibilities of existence of multiple names of same persons are identified using a software tool by checking similarities of demographic information and photographs, he explained.
The CEO said such entries are to be verified and confirmed cases of duplicate entries are to be deleted.
Draft electoral rolls-2023 were published on November 9, and notice in Form-5 was issued by electoral roll registration officers calling for filing of claims and objections till December 8, he said.
He appealed to the members of the public to check their names in the draft electoral rolls-2023 and submit applications in the relevant form for inclusion of name, correction of name, shifting of name to different address and deletion of ineligible entries.
Applications can be submitted online on nvsp.in portal and Voter Helpline app. Applications can also be submitted physically to the electoral registration officer directly or through the booth-level officer, the CEO said.
He clarified that the Central and State governments have no role to play in the preparation, maintenance of the electoral roll and conduct of elections.
In case of any allegation or irregularity in electoral matters, the Election Commission of India is the authority to probe into it. No government can order any probe into such matters, Meena said.
He asked people to ignore such statements contrary to it.
The police said they have arrested the co-founder of Chilume Trust and a few others in connection with the vote theft data case registered based on a complaint from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.
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