By LE Desk

Kochi, March 31: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday upheld the Election Commission’s guidelines to prevent bogus voting during the April 6 assembly elections and settled the plea of opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.

The court directed the EC to take all possible steps to prevent duplication of votes and asked the voter to file an affidavit if his/her name cropped up in more than one constituency. Chennithala said after going through the verdict he will take appropriate action, the Hindustan Times reported.

He had approached the court last week claiming that as many as four lakh multiple entries were found in the voters’ list and in some cases a voter had more than five votes in different booths. But the EC maintained that only 38,586 duplicate entries were found and most of them were clerical errors while renewing the voters’ list. 

The EC also informed the court that strict measures were taken to stop duplication of votes. The court also directed the EC to deploy enough central forces in sensitive booths.

Many constituencies in Kerala usually witness a close contest and if the margin is wafer-thin then duplication of votes play a key role. Opposition leaders earlier alleged that government officials who have allegiance to the Left trade unions were behind the move. In north Kerala villages, complaints of bogus voting are rampant in every election. In most cases, voters were not aware of having more than one vote.

“I don’t know on which ground the EC said it found 38,586 bogus votes. I still stick to my position that there are 4,30,000 duplication of votes. I will release details later tonight,” he said in Alappuzha. He said multiple entries in voters’ list amounts to sabotaging of the poll process.

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