New Delhi: Election Commission of India has turned down allegations made through a representation by Congress party about duplicate, multiple and false entries in the electoral rolls of Madhya Pradesh for the 2018 Assembly elections, and said “on the basis of field verification covering four Assembly Constituencies, it can be concluded that the allegation of large scale entries of multiple voters in these four Assembly Constituencies is not borne out.”
The Election Commission has said that the alleged cases of image repetition are not related with multiple entries in the electoral roll as these are only concerned with repetition of images. The image repetition cases have already been taken up for rectification during the continuous updation and the data provided in the complaint are only concerned with 2 or 3 parameters and these are not sufficient to be considered as probable demographically similar entries for the purposes of verification and rectification.
Full text of the Election Commission letter of 8 June 2018 to the Congress party in response to its complaint
Subject:- Duplicate, repeat, multiple, illegal, invalid, false etc. entries/voters in the Electoral Rolls of Madhya Pradesh, for Assembly Elections, 2018.
Reference:- Representation on the above cited subject before the Commission on 3rd June, 2018.
Please refer to your complaint on the subject cited which was presented before the Commission on last Sunday i.e. 3N June, 2018. Commission immediately constituted inter disciplinary teams to four Assembly Constituencies (ACs), namely, Narela, Bhojpur, Hoshangabad, and Seoni-Malwa in the state of Madhya Pradesh immediately. These Constituencies were shortlisted at random out of the list forwarded in the aforementioned letter.
On 7 June, 2018 after doing intensive field work and ground verification, the ECI teams have submitted their detailed report which can be summarized as follows:-
1. In 136-Seoni-Malwa the team verified all 82 entries from 17 polling stations and found the none of these falls in the category of multiple entry of a single elector upon verification. In 20 polling stations 2,442 entries, alleged to be similar entries across polling stations within AC, were verified and found that 2,397 entries arc genuine and in 45 cases the process of deletion is on for reasons like expired, shifted and in one case the deletion is complete.
The team also personally verified the cases of identical image cases in AC and found that 449 such cases have already been verified and in 147 cases rectifications have already been carried out.
2. In AC 151-Narela, out of 22,252 entries listed in the complaint 17,684 were found unique. After matching with the existing electoral roll, it was found that out of 17,684 records 1776 entries are exact match with respect to name of elector and name of relation of the elector. The team verified 154 entries and found 153 entries genuine. The team also checked 80 multiple image cases and found all the entries are genuine. In 40 cases the correct images have been added.
3. In AC 137-Hoshangabad, 552 entries available in the complaint were checked by the team and on field verification, no case of multiple entry was found. The team also found that in 40 cases correct images were provided during the continuous updation.
4. In AC 141-Bhojpur, the team did the field verification in 36 cases and found 29 of them as genuine and in 7 cases the process of deletion has already been initiated during continuous updation.
On the basis of field verification from these four Assembly Constituencies, it can be concluded that:
a. The allegation of large scale entries of multiple voters in these four Assembly Constituencies is not borne out
b. The alleged cases of image repetition are not related with multiple entries in the electoral roll as these are only concerned with repetition of images.
c. The image repetition cases have already been taken up for rectification during the continuous updation.
d. The data provided in the complaint are only concerned with 2 or 3 parameters and these are not sufficient to be considered as probable demographically similar entries for the purposes of verification and rectification, if required.
In addition to the complaint of duplication in the voters’ list, it was pointed out that there has been unexplained growth in the electors in the state of Madhya Pradesh as the EP ratio which used to be 52:76% in 2008 increased to 61.45% in 2018. This has been seen from the perspectivc of census data and annual increase in the numbers of the elecroral roll and nothing unusual could be noticed. From this, it can be safely concluded that there is no basis to dispute the current electoral roll.
From the evidence collected from ground and the analysis of the data made available with the complaint suggest that the claim of large scale duplicate, repeat, multiple, illegal, invalid, false etc. entries/vorers in the Electoral Rolls of Madhya Pradesh is not based on robust parameters and is not correct.
Commission has well devised mechanism to identify probable demographic similar entries based on five parameters namely, name, age, gender, relationship, relation name. These probable entries are made available at the field level to carry out intensh’e field verification in a structured manner before taking rectification measures, wherever required. As evident from the field evidence, large number of electors may carry similar/identical names, which may not become probable demographic similar entries. Commission has always been proactive in taking all measures for error·free electoral roll in transparent manner, in close cooperation
and coordination with all the stakeholders including political parties.
In case you have more input, on this issue, you are requested to provide the same, so that further verification is carried out promptly on ground. Further, the Commission has instructed the CEO Madhya Pradesh to carry out intensive verification of the complaint submitted by you in all other ACs in a time bound manner and share with you the findings of the verification done on ground.