The Congress on Sunday claimed there were more than 70 lakh discrepancies in voter lists in Telangana, and sought the Election Commission of India’s intervention “in the strongest possible manner”.

“Any election held on the basis of these deeply and deliberately flawed and inaccurate voter lists would undermine the entire process and would lead to a distorted mandate,” Congress spokesperson and senior leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said. “It will not only further deepen the doubts of common electorate in the electoral process owing to such glaring anomalies, but will further erode the faith that the people of this country need to have in the institution of Election Commission.”

On September 6, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, also known as KCR, dissolved the Assembly to pave the way for early elections in the state. The state may go to the polls along with Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh later this year. The Assembly’s term was to come to an end in June 2019 and elections to both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were due to be held along with the General Elections. Rao and his council of ministers are currently continuing as the caretaker government till the elections.

Singhvi claimed Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samiti dissolved the Assembly prematurely to “swing elections” in their favour. “He [KCR] has deliberately chosen to ignore the numerous discrepancies in the voter lists, which disenfranchise lakhs of eligible voters and completely erode the integrity of the elections, whenever they are conducted,” Singhvi added.

Of the 70 lakh discrepancies, at least 30.13 lakh are duplicate voters on the electoral rolls published by the Election Commission on September 10, the Congress claimed. About 20 lakh voters have been deleted from the rolls between 2014 and 2018 on the pretext that they migrated from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh following the bifurcation of the state. However, even in Andhra Pradesh, there has been a reduction of 17 lakh voters, the Congress claimed, questioning why there was no corresponding increase in voters in Andhra if people had migrated to the state.

Besides this, close to 18 lakh voters are present in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the party said.

In response to these allegations, the Election Commission said the figure of 70 lakh is much higher than the number shown by its own analysis. “The period of filing claims and objections is available up to September 25 and if the details are provided to us by any political party, they will be thoroughly examined and addressed,” said the chief electoral officer of Telangana, Rajat Kumar, according to ANI.