Row over deletion of names from voter lists: AAP says it made no phone calls, BJP calls claim a lie
Several Delhi residents have reported receiving phone calls from so-called AAP workers informing them that their names had been removed from voter lists
Several Delhi residents have reported receiving phone calls informing them that their names had been removed from voter lists
Although numerous persons have received such calls 'from AAP', the party has denied making any such calls
BJP leaders are calling this an AAP tactic to provoke voters against the saffron party over a false claim
Ankita Chaturvedi (name changed), a resident of North East Delhi, recently received a call from an unknown person who claimed to be an Aam Admi Party member and told her that her name has been deleted from the electoral rolls. She was also told that the party is trying to restore it.
But when she checked the electoral roll online for her name, Ankita was relieved to know that the phone call was a hoax. Her name was intact on the rolls. Anuj Kumar, a resident of Shakurpur recently received similar call saying that the names of his family members have been deleted from the voters list.
"I received the call three days ago. I was told by the person on the other end of the line, who claimed to be an AAP member, that the party would restore our names," he said. Interestingly, Anuj Kumar who is a computer teacher in a non-descript colony in Shakurpur, has not yet checked his name on the voter list.
Being among the first to receive a service under the 'Doorstep Delivery of Services' scheme launched a few months ago by the Delhi government, he did not find any reason to disbelieve a call ostensibly made by AAP. When he was told that the call he received could be a hoax, Anuj said, "Since I had already received services under the 'Doorstep Delivery of Services' scheme over the phone, I did not bother to check the veracity of the claims made by the caller. But I will now check if it was true."
Anuj was the first person in Delhi to receive a driving licence over the phone under the 'Door Step Delivery of Services' over a phone call.
Although numerous persons like Ankita and Anuj have received such calls 'from AAP', the party has denied making any such calls.
AAP leader and Delhi labour minister Gopal Rai told The Times of India that he has no clue about who is making such calls. Rather he suspected they were made by the BJP to defame AAP.
The phone calls are in tandem with the AAP electoral narrative that the BJP, in connivance with the Election Commission of India, has deleted the names of 30 lakh voters from the voter list. No wonder then that the BJP is unwilling to take AAP's claims of innocence at face value.
"If AAP did not make the phone calls, why did it not complain to the police about such calls made in its name?" asks BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, saying that many 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 added. 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.
"After discovering that it was a hoax call, many voters called back. But no one picked up the phone," he said.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, a BJP MLA in Delhi has already lodged a complaint against Kejriwal in this connection for allegedly misleading the voters. Towing the party line, Somnath Bharti, an AAP MLA, claimed that the phone calls made to voters were a part of conspiracy against the AAP. But when asked whether his party had made any police complaint against these unknown callers, he said, "I am not aware of it. But we have raised it in the appropriate forum."
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.
"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," a source in the Chief Electoral Office in Delhi said.
Despite this, AAP continues to claim that the BJP in connivance with ECI deleted the names of 30 lakh voters without following due process.
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