As Lok Sabha Polls 2019 inch closer, hoaxes about voting procedure are gaining momentum. After omnipresent claim of EVM hacking, India's electoral process has come under attack by yet another claim - BJP is removing names from the voters list.
It is a hoax.
Several people have taken to social media to report that they got a call from a number which informed them that their name has been removed from the voters list by the BJP. The caller claims to be the representative of Aam Adami Party and asks for names and contact details of rest of the family members. Delhi's ruling party has denied making any such calls.
"Just now got call from +91-9319698564, lady on the other side said that she is calling from AAP party and informed me that BJP is doing conspiracy by removing names from voter list. They have removed my name as well from voter list," a social media post about the hoax said.
"She assured me to help in getting enrolled again with ECI and for that would need contact number of rest of the family member. I told her that let me first check it myself and then I'll get back to her," the post added.
To my surprise, nothing like that has happened. Nobody from my family got removed from voter list, it said. Other social media posts with similar or same story shared different mobile numbers.
All the available numbers were either busy or unanswered when tried repeatedly.
No party can add or remove your name from voter list:
Voters list is created and managed by Election Commission of India, which is an independent body with a stellar record of managing the electoral process of world's largest democracy. No party, ruling or opposition, has the power to remove or add any names in the Voters list at its will. Do not fall prey to such calls.
To cancel a person's name from voters list is an elaborate process. The person needs to fill Form 7 in person or online and submit an application duly signed by the voter, giving detailed reason why they wish to be deleted from the voters list.
However, there is one scenario where your name could have been deleted. If the Election Commission does it. After the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the EC decided to mop up the voter list by deleting inactive and duplicate voters. The commission had announced that it had removed 11 lakh voters’ names to clean the list at the time.
But if you are a regular voter, chances are your name is safely featured in the voters' list.
How to check your name in Voter List
If you still have doubts, it is good to double-check your name and voter registration with the ECI. You can do that by following simple steps online.
1. Open the National Voters' Services Portal at https://electoralsearch.in/
2. Either use your basic details like name, date of birth and area information or just enter your voter ID information. Enter captcha code and click search.
3. Your voter information will be displayed at the end of the screen.
4. In case you are not in the list or you wish to delete, or change information or constituency, the website will give you one click access to the relevant forms in the 'View Details' page.
AAP-BJP play blame game over voter list hoax:
AAP leader and Delhi labour minister Gopal Rai recently told The Times of India that he had no clue about who is making such calls and suspected they were made by the BJP to defame AAP.
Hitting back, BJP MLA Vijender Gupta said that if AAP did not make the phone calls, why did it not complain to the police about such calls made in its name. Gupta added that many people in his constituency received similar calls that turned out to be hoax.
"AAP is calling up people from humble means to tell them that the BJP has deleted their names and that Arvind Kejriwal is struggling to restore them. This is totally a lie. Neither can anyone delete anyone's name from the voter list, nor can anyone restore it without following due procedure to do so," he was reported in Firspost as saying. He went on to say that this is nothing but an AAP tactic to provoke voters against the BJP over a false claim that names of voters have been deleted without following due process.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, a BJP MLA in Delhi has already lodged a complaint against Kejriwal in this connection for allegedly misleading the voters.
In November last year, the AAP claimed mass scale deletion of voter names from electoral rolls without adhering to any due process, following which the ECI ordered a door-to-door survey in presence of AAP representatives.
However, sources in he Chief Electoral Office in Delhi said that nothing erroneous was found in the process of deletion of names of voters in the survey. Deletion of voters is done in case of transfer or death of voters only after following due process which was done. Despite this, AAP continues to claim that the BJP in connivance with ECI deleted the names of 30 lakh voters without following due process.