Kamal Nath said that the Congress has "given proof to the EC" that the voters' list of Madhya Pradesh is "fraudulent". The state party chief has also said that the Congress has carried out its "own enquiry in 100 constituencies". (Read more here
According to Nath, the Congress has found cases of one voter being enlisted in different constituencies "with the same name, address and father's name". According to the Congress leader, "this cannot be any mistake".
LIVE: Press briefing by Madhya Pradesh PCC President @OfficeOfKNath. https://t.co/KtHLNuzQTG
— Congress Live (@INCIndiaLive) June 3, 2018
If true, what would be the impact of fake voters on Assembly polls?
Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia provided some figures that can tell us the magnitude of the alleged irregularities and what impact they could have had in the even that they were true and not caught out. (Read more here
Scindia said that there are 50 million (5 crore) voters in the state, alleging that 12 per cent of them "are fake". That's right, a whopping 12 per cent.
This alleged figure is important as according to the Congress leader, the difference in vote share between Congress and BJP in the last Assembly election in the state was just nine per cent.
Assuming that the Congress' allegations are true, had these details not surfaced, the opposing side would have clinched a resounding win in Madhya Pradesh irrespective of the will of the people.
"This has been done by the BJP. How is it possible that population increased by 24 percent in 10 years but the number of voters increased by 40 percent? We scrutinised lists in all constituencies. One voter is registered in 26 lists, and there are similar cases in other places too," said Scindia. (Read more here
What does the Congress want the EC to do?
Congress leaders have requested the EC to set up a special monitoring mechanism to remove all the "multiple" and "demographically similar" entries. They have also urged the poll panel to inform all the national
political parties on a weekly basis about the status of the identification of such voters at least at the district level. (Read more here
Further, the Congress has demanded strict action against the returning officers for their alleged involvement in coming up with such "fraudulent" electoral rolls and also said that the EC should not deploy them on poll duty in the future.
"The officers who produce the second corrected list should also give an affidavit or a certificate along with the correct list," Scindia said.
The Election Commission of India has issued instructions to the Chief Electoral Officer of Madhya Pradesh to look into the irregularities in the voter rolls pointed out by the Congress Party. pic.twitter.com/Ewhejmkyyx
— Congress (@INCIndia) June 3, 2018
What is the EC doing about Congress' allegations?
1) The EC on Sunday formed four teams to look into allegation levelled by Congress that millions of bogus voters were registered in Madhya Pradesh. (Read more here
2) The two-member teams will verify the electoral rolls in the Narela, Bhojpur, Hoshangabad, and Seoni Malwa Assembly constituencies.
3) The teams will start their probe on Monday and submit their report by June 7.
4) The terms of reference of the teams formed by the EC are as follow: Enquiring into each specific issue raised in the complaint, finding out the "alleged fake voters' name, if any", to find out "how did it happen", and fix the responsibility to initiate appropriate action.
Are there any previous allegations over MP polls?
While the numbers being cited by the Congress are shocking, the allegations are not the first of their kind. Earlier in February, the Congress had gone to the EC complaining about discrepancies in Madhya Pradesh's voters' list. The party had asked the poll panel to take necessary steps for ensuring free and fair elections. Subsequently, in April, the state's chief electoral officer Salina Singh had said that 6 million (6 lakh) names were removed from the state's voter list. (Read more here
With agency inputs