New Delhi: Dr. Harsh Vardhan, BJP Delhi Pradesh President, has demanded a high level inquiry into yesterday’s reported low voter turnout in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharasthra. He has charged the Election Commission of India of being “complicit through indifference” to the Maharashtra state machinery’s operation of excluding more than 60 lakh voters from the rolls.
“The electoral rolls of Mumbai, Pune, Amravati and Nagpur were manipulated to suit the ruling Congress-NCP alliance. Rather than rig the election through violence, they chose to silently drop names of people most likely to vote for change. This is what I call ‘Rigging at Source,’” Dr. Harsh Vardhan said.
The media tried to give the people of Mumbai a bad name claiming they did not vote at the desired rate. But the polling percentage was 52.66 percent, a 25-year record. If genuine voters were not turned away by a conspiracy of the Congress-NCP government of Maharashtra, the turnout would have exceeded the 55 percent achieved in 1989.
He pointed out, “It is clear the people of Mumbai wanted change this time. The Mumbaikar is a very practical person and usually does not vote in large numbers on week days. But this time they were so eager to see a Narendra Modi-led government in Delhi that they came out in record numbers. In 1989 too they wanted to vote out Rajiv Gandhi and so exercised their mandate at an unprecedented rate”.
“The BJP had anticipated this conspiracy and had complained to the Election Commission well in advance. But the Nirvachan Bhawan officials placed too much reliance on the whitewash reports of the Maharashtra State Election Commission which is a creature of the Maharastra government and not an independent authority,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.
Throughout Election Day, reports were coming in of people being turned away from polling stations because their names had either been deleted or, in the case of new voters, simply not included. Among those turned back was actor Amol Palekar.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the problem emanated from the Election Commision’s helplessness when meeting apathetic state government officials. “Though the Election Commission of India has done the nation proud and is recognized as the gold standard for its impartiality and efficiency, it is still reliant on partisan state machineries like the one in Maharashtra,” he added.
He said that the cynical attitude of the Congress-NCP in Maharashtra is evident from the way polling officials put indelible ink on the right index fingers of voters in Girgaum and Borivili. “Do they not know the basic rules? What has the EC done to bring these officials to book? Should they not be suspended?” he demanded to know.
He recalled that during the Delhi Vidhan Sabha elections in Delhi, thousands of new voters found that despite submitting their papers and forms their names had not been put on the list. So they were turned away from the polling centres. “The black hand of the Congress is seen in every election. They are afraid of losing,” Dr. Harsh Vardhan said.