Monday, November 23, 2015

Gujarat metropolitan polls rigged? 1.03 lakh voters in Ahmedabad "deleted" in two days, mischief suspected

By Our Representative
Was there an attempt to rig elections to the six municipal corporations held in Gujarat on November 22? If available information with Counterview on Ahmedabad is any indication, it would seem so. In fact, indications have emerged that there was a meticulous planning to ensure that, at several places, voters are unable to cast their votes, and among the “victims” of this planning were not just ordinary voters but even persons like octogenarian ex-BJP chief minister Keshubhai Patel.
Knowledgeable sources keeping a tab on developments around the municipal corporation elections suggest that in Ahmedabad alone as many as 1.03 lakh voters’ names were marked as “deleted” on the voter list between November 19 and 22, the day of voting. It is a mystery as to how the red deletion mark appeared on the voter lists in the polling booths. On November 19, according to one source, the State Election Commission (SEC) said there were 39.83 lakh voters, but on November 22, the 1.03 names were stamped in red as “deleted”.
"Went few times, was not allowed vote, suspect bogus voting"
Things did not “improve” till November 22 afternoon, at around 3.30 pm, just one-and-a-half hours before the polling was to end, following opposition Congress’ “fiery” representation to Ahmedabad district collector Rajkumar Beniwal, the man responsible for holding elections in to the city municipal elections on behalf of the SEC, was forced to issue a “circular” which said that the names were deleted “by mistake”.
The circular, titled, “To be implemented in case of deleted stamp in final voter list”, said, “After receiving several complaints of delete stamp on voters’ names in the final voting list in the ongoing Ahmedabad municipal corporation elections, it is to be intimated that all those voters whose names are marked as deleted in the final voter list are allowed to cast their vote if they are in the voting list but not in the ‘deleted list’.”
"Was unable to vote because of mischief of the Election Commission"
Not only was the circular not put on the website of the SEC, it did not reach most of the polling booths, as a result of which the officials managing the booths just refused to allow those who returned to vote even ahead of the 5.00 pm deadline. Already, independent observers, including senior journalists, have begun to call this as clear sign of “mischief” and “meticulous planning”, saying inquiry should be lodged on how this happened and if the SEC role was there in it.
Meanwhile, political activist Roshan Shah has released videos of interviews with the voters who were refused to vote, pointing out that most of the deletions have taken place in the Patel-dominated areas like Ranip, Ghatlodia and Chandkheda. Basing on these video interviews, he said, Ahmedabad election voting count will all be a “farce”, as “many couldn't find booths and many couldn't vote because names were deleted from voters list.”
"300+ voters deleted from my society in New Ranip area, mostly Patels"
Significantly, veteran BJP leader Keshubhai Patel had to make a statement suggesting the meticulous planning to deprive voters to vote. One day before the polling day, he said, "I had registered myself with the SEC for online voting. But today they informed me that I cannot vote online as my registration was not complete. Earlier, they had told me that my registration was complete and I can vote online, but today they are saying that I cannot. I have taken up this issue with the SEC."
While as many as 20,000 people had applied for registration for e-voting in the six municipal corporation areas, when it came to submitting their documents for verification only 1,310 voters “completed” the procedure, officials of SEC said. And of these, just 806 people could vote online.
One of the senior-most journalists in Ahmedabad, covering the elections, told Counterview soon after the elections were over" “It was as if someone just sat with a stamp and went about randomly stamping out societies.” The journalist added, “Despite this, the Opposition Congress is appears to be taking things lying down… They appear to be going by the Satta Bazaar predictions showing only Vadodara going to BJP, rest to the Congress.”

No comments: