Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday denied that there was a conspiracy behind the duplication of names in voters’ lists for the Assembly elections, PTI reported.
However, Vijayan claimed that a woman whose name was entered multiple times on the list was a Congress supporter. He accused the party of adding her name to the electoral rolls.
Vijayan’s remark came a day after Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena admitted that multiple entries were found on the voters’ lists. This came to light after an inquiry was conducted into the discrepancies, based on senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala’s complaint.
Chennithala had alleged there was a conspiracy to create fake voters to influence the result of the Assembly election in favour of the ruling front.
Vijayan responded to the allegation on Tuesday, saying that Chennithala was actually complaining about the duplication done by the members of his own party.
However, he added that there was no allegation about “an organised move” behind the duplication of names. “This [double entry] has happened in the past also,” Vijayan was quoted as saying by PTI. “The Election Commission is looking into its other aspects.”
The chief electoral officer in Kerala had ordered a detailed inquiry into all the 140 constituencies after the preliminary investigation confirmed discrepancies in the voters’ list. The official said on Monday that 590 double entries were found in Kottayam, 570 in Thrissur, 800 in Palakkad and 640 in Kasaragod
The chief electoral officer referred to the multiple entries as “Demographically Similar Entries”, or DSEs, and said that such instances were seen in poll-bound Tamil Nadu and West Bengal also.
Meanwhile, an officer in Kasaragod district was suspended after he was found to have approved five cards for one person.
The Kerala Assembly polls are scheduled to be held in a single phase on April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.