A debate was provoked after Indian Badminton star Jwala Gutta's claimed that her name "mysteriously" disappeared from the voting list of Hyderabad, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Telangana, Rajat Kumar, has issued a clarification regarding the alleged deletions of voter names from state electoral lists. He said that deletions and inclusions of a voter are made during enrollment and revision of the electoral rolls.
"It has been observed that certain media/social media channels are conveying a wrong impression that the deletion of voter names was done either intentionally or by some mistake. In this context, it is hereby clarified that deletions & inclusions are made as part of voter enrollments as and when a revision of the electoral rolls is undertaken. Objections under Form No.7 are invariably invited from citizens to raise objections within seven days before carrying out deletions. Similarly, voters are required to apply in Form 6 if they want their names to be included," the state CEO said in an official statement.
He also outlined that electoral rolls for the just-concluded Assembly elections were updated only after duly taking up an extensive exercise as per the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
"They were published on November 19 with the inclusion of the supplementary list. The elector rolls, which were used for the polling, contained 2,80,64,684 voters as compared to 2,61,36,776 voters in the draft rolls published on September 10. It is estimated that approximately 26 lakh voters have been enrolled during the exercise," he said in the statement.
He stated that ample time, opportunity and scope were provided to the citizens to register their grievances regarding the deletions of their names if any. Kumar added that the citizens could have checked if their names were in the rolls at all through the Telangana Chief Electoral Officer's website ceo.telangana.gov.in or they could have raised the objections by responding to the enrolling authorities by filling the prescribed form ( Form-7 ). He also said that the voters would have done the same through "Check Your Vote" campaign carried out from October 26 to November 5.
He also said that the responsibility for checking names and enrolment if required lies with the voters and the mere fact that they have voted in the earlier election does not entitle them to vote in subsequent elections.
"Some voters have reported that their names were not included in the voters list in spite of the fact that they had voted in the last General Elections held in 2014. They are informed that they are required to file an application in Form-6 either online through the National Voter Service Portal or physically to their BLO/ERO," he added.
The state CEO also requested that all eligible voters should take due care to ensure their names are included in the voter's list for the upcoming Parliamentary elections.
"The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Telangana will be taking up an extensive exercise for updating the rolls from December 26 onwards for preparing the electoral rolls with effect from January 1 next year. ," the statement added.