Kerala Opposition Leader lauds HC directive to EC

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Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 29 (PTI): Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala on Monday welcomed the High Court directing the Election Commission to ensure each voter casts only one vote in the April 6 Assembly polls.

Chennithala said the court has observed that his plea seeking to restrain fake and multiple entry voters from participating in the elections was serious.

'We welcome the High Court direction to ensure that voters with multiple entries in the voters list are allowed to vote only once. The court has observed that the matter was very serious,' Chennithala told reporters.

He claimed the extent of fraud in the voters' list was shocking. 'There are names of deceased persons in the voters list. Similarly, there are names of deceased persons in the postal ballot list too,' the Opposition Leader alleged.

He said the Congress party has found out that names of eight deceased people are there in the postal voters list in Thiruvananthapuram constituency.

'There are names of those who have not even applied for postal vote in the list for postal ballot. For example, the name of one person, who passed away eight years ago, and another, who passed away two years ago, are there in the list of postal ballots,' Chennithala said.

Considering the plea, the court said this was a serious issue concerning the rights of the citizens.

The court would consider the case further on Tuesday.

The Commission today informed the court that it would ensure the sanctity of the elections by ensuring that no multiple votes are cast by such voters in the polls.

In his plea, Chennithala had sought criminal action against those responsible for fake and multiple entry of voters' names in 131 Assembly constituencies.

He said a scrutiny of the electoral rolls would prove that there were more than 4,34,042 fake and multiple entry voters in these Assembly segments.

Chennithala had submitted he was aggrieved by the alleged gross lethargy and inaction of the poll panel in not taking action in pursuance of letters sent to them in rectifying the mistakes in the electoral rolls.

He appealed to the court to issue an interim order directing the Election Commission to ensure that fake and multiple entry voters in the electoral roll are not permitted to vote in the Assembly election. PTI RRT NVG NVG