Ensure Proper Verification Of Burqa-Clad Women During Delhi Polls: BJP to EC

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A BJP delegation met the Chief Electoral Officer and demanded a proper verification of women voters wearing a burqa on the day of voting.

NEW DELHI — A delegation of BJP’s Delhi wing called on the Chief Election Officer (CEO) on Wednesday and requested “verification and cross-checking” of the identity of burqa-clad voters at every polling station on May 25. This comes after BJP candidate from Hyderabad, Madhavi Latha, visited polling booths to check identities of the voters in purdah on May 13.

The delegation comprised former MLAs Ajay Mahawar, Mohan Singh Bisht and Jitender Mahajan along with the in-charge of BJP’s legal cell, Neeraj Gupta, The Indian Express reported.

“In accordance with ECI’s rules, we request that you deploy adequate female polling officers and female security personnel at every polling booth to verify and cross-check identities of burqa-clad voters,” they said in a memorandum to the CEO.

It stated that the request has been put forth to prevent “anti-social” and “anti-democratic” elements from “rigging votes”, adding the step was needed to ensure a “level playing field.”

Mahawar said, “The CEO has assured us he will work on whatever is the best legal option in this matter and will try to prevent any kind of fake voting.”

Sources at the CEO’s office said arrangements can be made to deploy female officers to check the identities of burqa-clad women in a separate enclosure.

As per the memorandum: “This step is also being requested, bearing in mind larger public interest, especially in such Parliamentary constituencies where the number of burqa-clad/ pardanashin’ women voters is high. It bears mention that burqa clad/ ‘pardanashin’ voters turn up in large numbers on polling day. Hence, their identity must be verified through appropriate government-mandated IDs to prevent bogus voting and misuse of genuine votes.”

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