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Data theft row only shows lacunae in EC!

Data theft row only shows lacunae in EC!

The allegations and counter-allegations between the opposition YSR Congress party and ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh over theft of data pertaining to voters by a private data analyst company only exposes huge lapses in the functioning of the Election Commission of India.

According to political analysts, it is the responsibility of the Election Commission to ensure that all genuine voters are included in the voters’ list while updating it from time to time.

Just because a particular voter is not available at the residence at the time of verification, it cannot delete the name.

It cannot expect the voters to inform the EC every time when the change their addresses, as people are not expected to stay at the same address every election.

The EC cannot get away by throwing the onus on the voters to verify every time whether their names are there in the list or not.

It is the responsibility of the EC to verify through genuine methods to find out whether the voters are alive or dead, like verifying with the respective civic bodies.

Secondly, it is not difficult to get political parties to get voters’ list these days, as even a local corporator or a councillor or even a sarpanch candidate will get access to it. Even the local municipal or panchayat offices will get. 

If any political party asks for deletion of supporters of other parties deleted, the EC cannot just delete the names without proper verification.

Assuming that the TDP is making use of the services of the Anganwadi teachers or workers to get the names of YSRC supporters deleted, it cannot be proved in court of law, as the responsibility of protecting the interests of the voters lies with the EC and not with the TDP.

Similarly, there is no merit in the argument of the TDP leaders that the YSRC is getting the names of lakhs of voters deleted by filing Form-7 complaints with the EC.

The EC authorities cannot delete the names of so many voters based on these forms without any verification of their authenticity. If it does, only EC has to take the responsibility.

During the recent Telangana assembly elections, too, the EC did the same mistake.

Despite the Congress leaders submitting enough proves that names of lakhs of genuine voters were deleted (irrespective of their political leanings), the EC authorities remained blind and threw the onus on to the voters to see that their votes are intact.

And after the polling, Chief Electoral Officer Rajath Kumar threw up his hands and said sorry!

And lastly, it is wrong on the part of the political parties to classify voters into pro-TDP voters or pro-YSRC voters or pro-BJP voters.

One cannot judge their political affiliation just by making telephone calls or doing door-to-door surveys.

Except in the case of party workers who flaunt their affiliation directly, you cannot find out the mind of the genuine voters, who are in majority.

The voters are intelligent and they know whom to vote. It is very difficult to read their mind till the last moment. If there is any wave in favour of any political party, nobody can stop it, however hard they might try to manipulate.

“So, all this hungama over data theft or deletion of voters will subside once the election schedule is announced.  Nothing is proved in the court of law. And it is for the EC to come up with a fool proof system to prevent electoral malpractices,” an analyst said.

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Tags: Election Commission TDP YSRCP