Elections

Investigation Reveals 1.5 Lakh 'ghost Voters' In Telangana, Hundreds Listed In Houses Where Only A Handful Actually Live

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Published:

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  • An investigation by Republic TV has revealed startling discrepancies in Telangana electoral rolls
  • In many cases, there were hundreds of voters listed in an address where only a handful of people actually resided

Days after Republic TV brought to light that over a hundred illegal Rohingya immigrants had managed to find their way into the voter rolls in poll-bound Telangana, another super exclusive investigation has revealed serious lapses and discrepancies on voter figures.

The investigation that was conducted over a period of two months with intensive ground-work revealed that in the Telangana State there are over 1.5 lakh 'ghost voters', with the discrepancy being most prevalent in seven constituencies dominated by Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM party. 

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The investigation found 40,000 of these 'invisible' voters in the Yakutpura area alone, which has for a long time been a stronghold of AIMIM -- so much so that the party has hardly campaigned there, despite the elections now being just a week away.

In terms of shocking individual findings, the investigation revealed that the a house which sheltered three families had over 100 voters registered at the address.

A visit to another house revealed that while the dwelling had been locked up for over three years, it had over 200 voters registered on the voter list. A third house of six members had 250 voters registered.  

Republic TV had earlier accessed exclusive documents which pinpoint a major lapse by the Telangana Election Commission. A significant number of Rohingya refugees have become a part of the official electoral rolls of Telangana. Despite a warning by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Telangana Election Commission failed to delete most of the names of Rohingyas Muslims.

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It was on September 17, 2018, that the Union Home Ministry sent out a stern letter to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Telangana, Dr Rajat Kumar, to "immediately take necessary action" and delete the names of 189 foreigners (Rohingyas) from its electoral rolls. It also directed the CEO to confiscate and destroy the Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) which was obtained illegally by the Rohingyas and exercise caution while issuing voter cards where there is a heavy concentration of foreign nationals. 

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