10 Questions the Election Commission Must Answer
Will criminal proceedings be initiated against BJP leaders for displaying ‘election matter’ on NaMo TV less than 48 hours before polls?
1) How are names of registered voters being deleted from electoral rolls?
The first phase of the polling for the 2019 election was marred by numerous reports of people’s names being missing from the electoral from lists. On Thursday, many prominent people took to social media to register their anguish on not finding their names in the list when they set out to vote. Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals and former CII chief Shobana Kamineni, said, “she felt cheated” after she found out her name had been deleted from the voters’ list in the Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency.
“I feel cheated as a citizen. Does my vote not count?” Former CII chief Shobhana Kamineni, daughter of Apollo hospitals chief Dr Pratap Reddy, lets fly at the deletion of her name—her disenfranchisement—from the voters’ list in Hyderabad. #GeneralElections2019 pic.twitter.com/yoRMmxCmzk
— churumuri (@churumuri) April 11, 2019
Later, Maruti Suzuki CEO RC Bhargava also said that his name was ‘deleted’. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Managing Director of Biocon, also took to social media and stated that her mother’s name was missing from the electoral roll.
My mother’s voter ID has been deleted on some flimsy excuse that there was a report that she no longer lives at her address. She is so upset I can’t tell you becos she has been at the same address for 19 years. So much for ‘verification’ @BBMPCOMM @ceo_karnataka
— Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (@kiranshaw) April 7, 2019
Earlier, when in the Telangana Assembly polls it was reported that nearly thirty lakhs voters’ names were deleted, it was found via an RTI query that the Telangana Election Commission used Aadhaar to delete potential duplicate voters without any verification.
2) Now that It has been admitted that NaMo TV airs political advertising content, will criminal proceedings be initiated against BJP leaders?
First, how was the channel allowed to go live without necessary permissions? Additionally, the BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya has confirmed that the party is behind the channel. And now that the EC has admitted that NaMo TV airs political publicity content, what action will be taken against BJP leadership since “display of election matter” on TV in 48 hours preceding polls is a criminal offence under the Representation of People Act, 1951.
The Prime Ministers has himself advertised NaMO TV on his social media channels.
The day we were most looking forward to is here!
At 5 PM, lakhs of Chowkidars from different parts of India will interact in the historic #MainBhiChowkidar programme.
This is an interaction you must not miss.
Watch it live on the NaMoApp or NaMo TV. pic.twitter.com/XXKkLUuE7X
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 31, 2019
3) Where were central security forces when alleged booth-capturing took place in Tripura?
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] in a press conference on Thursday alleged that booth capturing took place in the two Lok Sabha constituencies in Tripura where voting was held in the first phase of the elections. The Left party said that despite the EC assuring that central security forces would be present to ensure voter confidence, the same was not observed on polling day. The party said that not only were voters turned away from booths, but some miscreants also locked the booth from inside.
4) How Could U.P. Police Allegedly Stop Dalits From Casting Their Vote?
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has claimed that Dalit voters are being forcefully stopped from reaching polling booths by the Uttar Pradesh police on Thursday. In a video doing rounds on social media, a Dalit voter is seen shedding tears after being humiliation by local police personnel who did not ‘allow’ him to vote.
#WATCH Dalits not allowed to cast vote in #Kairana Western #UttarPradesh. Man recounts humiliating account in this video#LIVEUPDATES #LokSabhaElections2019 https://t.co/nZXW7JvMy8 pic.twitter.com/v61XxDlrV5
— Firstpost (@firstpost) April 11, 2019
Will action be taken against the police officials indulging alleged in voter intimidation?
5) What about alleged voter intimidation and Congress button on EVM not working in Poonch?
BSF was reportedly coercing voters to vote for the BJP in six booths at Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti tweeted a video showing voters raising anti-BJP slogans after they were purportedly roughed up by the BSF for not voting for the BJP.
A voter at polling booth in Jammu was manhandled by the BSF because he refused to cast his vote for BJP. Using armed forces at polling stations to coerce people to vote for the BJP shows their desperation & hunger to usurp power by hook or crook. pic.twitter.com/Hmr8zocQ44
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) April 11, 2019
Later, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah posted a video of a presiding officer from Poonch area explaining the malfunctioning of an EVM button – the “hand symbol” (symbol of the Congress party) was not working, he said.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) April 11, 2019
6) Why was the EVM only voting for BJP in Bijnor?
At a polling station in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh, an incident of electronic voting machine (EVM) malfunctioning came to light when pressing on the button for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) resulted in the votes being registered for the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP). Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai shared a video on his social media handle where Dhara Singh, a polling agent, alleged that when he pressed the button for elephant (the BSP symbol), the vote still went to the lotus (the BJP symbol). Who, if not the Election Commission will ensure that the EVMs are not rigged?
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) April 11, 2019
7) What action is being taken against the PM for constantly invoking the armed forces for votes?
In Latur, the Prime Minister directly asked voters to vote in the name of Balakot men and Pulwama Martyrs. This, despite the EC’s directions, to refrain from using the armed forces for political rhetoric. What action will be taken against the PM?
8) Why can the indelible ink be removed so easily with nail polish remover?
Per a tweet by The Quint founder Ritu Kapur, the “indelible” ink-mark on her index finger got removed after she used a nail polish remover on. Sharing pictures of her ink-marked finger and one after she removed it with the help of a nail-paint remover, Kapur said, I voted. I got inked. I did not believe the people who said that indelible ink is washing off. So I tried nail polish remover – and magic – the mark is gone @SpokespersonECI. What’s ECI’s response?”
I voted. I got inked. I did not believe the people who said that indelible ink is washing off. So I tried nail polish remover – and magic – the mark is gone @SpokespersonECI. What’s ECI’s response? pic.twitter.com/S12TKw8M07
— Ritu Kapur (@kapur_ritu) April 11, 2019
While she reported today that a faint mark reappeared, she said, “But that does not take away from the worrisome vanishing while the polling was still on yesterday. @SpokespersonECI“
An update – a faint mark has appeared by the next morning. But that does not take away from the worrisome vanishing while the polling was still on yesterday. @SpokespersonECI pic.twitter.com/y5RN1VAghR
— Ritu Kapur (@kapur_ritu) April 12, 2019
9) How is food packets marked ‘NaMo’ being distributed inside polling booths not a violation of Model Code of Conduct?
It was reported Thursday, food packets bearing the label ‘NaMo’ were seen inside polling booths in Gautam Buddha Nagar constituency, Uttar Pradesh. As many alleged violations of the model code of conduct, Senior Superintendent of Police, supposed to be neutral official, issued a ‘clarification’, defending the food packets. He said the packets are “procured from Namo Food Shop and not from any political party.” Are we really supposed to believe that it was just a coincidence?
10) Can a candidate give false information on their election affidavit without facing any consequences?
Smriti Irani, the Minister for Textiles and has changed her educational qualification in her recently filed affidavit in Amethi from BA to college degree not completed. Irani’s affidavit reveals that she is a dropout from the University of Delhi in 1994, and completed only a year of her graduation in commerce.
However, in the 2004 affidavit submitted while filing her nomination from Chandni Chowk in Delhi, she had claimed that she was a Bachelor in Arts from Delhi University’s School of Correspondence. The EC must answer how it accepted her affidavit without inspecting the reason for the difference between the previous one and the current one.
Additionally, since the Union Minister has clearly submitted false information on at least one of the two affidavits — will criminal proceedings be initiated against her as specified by the RPA, 1951?