A Hyderabad based company which runs an app to check the names of voters on electoral roll, has claimed that roughly 12 crore voters are missing from the voter list.
Moreover, Khalid Saifullah, the founder of the app, Missing Voters, has alleged the missing electors are mainly Muslims and Dalits. This issue has been also raised by political parties who have often alleged that the ruling parties deliberately remove these name in order to block voters from exercising their franchise.
Speaking to BloombergQuint's Tamanna Inamdar on the issue of missing voters’ names from the electoral roll, a panelist comprising Saifullah along with Jagdeep Chhokar, Founder member of Association for Democratic Reform and former Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy discussed the matter on Tuesday, 26 March.
Initiating the discussions, Saifullah said that the missing names comprise of both who had voted in 2014 General elections along with those who are eligible to vote.
He further said a large number of missing voters were either Muslims or Dalit, adding that this was due to their economic backwardness and tenancy to frequently migrate.
“About 42 percent Muslims are illiterate as per census data and the same goes for Dalits... Because of their economical background, they don’t stay in the same location for more than four years and hence, can be missed out at the booth level verification, Saifullah said.
Meanwhile, Jagdeep Chhokar expressed shock and urged that the Election Commission must urgently resolve the matter with transparency.
“The whole process of electoral roll is complex. We should be willing to accept a certain degree of omission and commission. But 12 crore is a huge number. Maybe there is something going on which is not known to people at large.”Jagdeep Chhokar, Founder member of Association for Democratic Reform
Although, Krishnamurthy referred to the matter as a serious concern, the former CEC also added that this claim needs to first verified first as there are no reports suggesting such a large number missing-voters case.
Krishnamurthy however, acknowledged the possibility of such omissions by the Election Commission, but added saying such complaints need to be shared with the government for immediate rectification.