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50 lakh state voters traceless - The Telegraph

Press Report ()
22 August 1997

Title: 50 lakh state voters traceless
Author: Press Report
Publication: The Telegraph
Date: August 22, 1997

Dear Shri Gill,

Under Article 324(1) of the Constitution of India, the superintendence,
direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for all
elections of Parliament and State Legislatures vest in the Election
Commission.

I wish to invite your attention to a disturbing press report published by
The Telegraph of August 22, 1997, relating to the electoral rolls for West
Bengal (clipping enclosed). According to the news-item, the West Bengal
Election Commission has discovered that nearly 5 million voters whose names
figure on the electoral rolls are, prima facie, untraceable.

The State Election Commission's preliminary findings were based on the
difference between the number of voters registered and the number of those
who turned up at the polling booths to have themselves photographed.

While it is true that quite a number of these "missing voters" may have
failed to turn up for genuine reasons, a sample survey conducted by the
State Election Commission has indicated that the number of totally
non-existing or bogus voters is also very large.

In the past, serious allegations have often been made against the State
Government that they have been rigging polls in a very systematic manner,
and have developed the art of, what is generally described as, 'scientific
rigging'. If what the State Election Commission has now discovered is
correct, obviously the scientific rigging starts with the preparation of
electoral rolls.

I urge the Election Commission to order a thorough enquiry into the matter,
and ensure that necessary correctives are applied promptly and firmly.

Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
K.R. Malkani

Shri M.S. Gill
Chief Election Commissioner
Election Commission of India
New Delhi


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