Republic TV has accessed exclusive documents which pinpoint a major lapse by the Telangana Election Commission. Rohingyas Muslims, who are refugees into the country, now have become a part of the official electoral rolls of Telangana, a state which is all set to go for polls on December 7. Despite a warning by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Telangana Election Commission failed to delete most of the names of Rohingyas Muslims.
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 heavy concentration of foreign nationals.
The MHA, in its letter, had clearly listed out the names, EPIC card numbers, passport numbers, photos and the constituency under which 189 Rohingya Muslims had illegally established themselves as local citizens. The document explained that most of the illegal voters were spread across Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Medak districts.
On October 9, 2018, the Telangana CEO directed all the district election officers to immediately delete the names of the identified Rohingyas.
On November 28, it has come to light that while names of Rohingyas have been deleted from Ranga Reddy and Medak districts, 71 out of 189 names still exist in the electoral rolls of the Hyderabad district. All these illegal voters are registered under the Chandrayangutta constituency, where Akbaruddin Owaisi from the AIMIM party has been an MLA since 1999. He is a four-time MLA from the constituency, gunning for his fifth term. This raises the question of whether there was pressure on the Election Commission from the AIMIM to not delete the names of Rohingya Muslims from the voters' list.
While the Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to react on the Republic Expose, Union Minister of Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.