Lakhs of Muslim Names Missing From Voters’ List in Karnataka: App Founder

Date:

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — Ahead of assembly elections, lakhs of Muslim voters, who were in the electoral rolls of 2022 in Karnataka, are found to be missing from the latest electoral roll released by the Election Commission, Syed Khalid, founder of Missing Voters App, has said.

Khalid told Clarion India that he flagged the missing names when comparing the number of last year’s voters to the number of voters in the new list.

“We downloaded the electoral rolls published in January 2022 and then we downloaded the final electoral roll of January 2023. We compared them to know whether Muslim voters who were in the 2022 electoral rolls are present in the 2023 rolls. We found that voters numbering approximately 2 to 4 thousand are missing from the 2023 rolls in every constituency,” said Khalid.

Khalid’s study focused on Muslim voters. He also gave details as to what number of voters were missing in a particular constituency. Chittapur (5,687), Shahapur (4,216), Basava Kalyan (5,080), Gulbarga Rural (5,005), Gulbarga Dakshin (4,852), Raichur Rural (4,,473), Manvi (5,498), Dharwad (4,582), Hubli Dharwad Central (4,442), Chitradurga (5,403), Bellary (4,919), Vijayanagara (4,460), Harihar (4,851), K.R. Puram (5,608), Kolar (5,142), Bangalore South (5,508), Bommanahalli (4,654) and Ramanagaram (4,627) are the constituencies where the highest number of Muslim voters are missing this year.

Clarion India approached the Karnataka poll commission official to know the facts related to the missing voters. An official picked up the phone and put it on hold after hearing the question. She did not respond further.

Khalid also issued a video on the missing Muslim voters which includes the statement from the imam of Bangalore’s Jama Masjid, Maulana Mohammed Maqsood Imran Rashadi. Rashadi called it “fantastic work” and urged Muslims of Karnataka to take the help of the app to verify whether their names were missing. He also asked Muslim youth to help others in verifying whether someone was missing from the elector rolls.

Recently, people have already raised the issue of missing minority voters. Last month, a delegation submitted a memorandum to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), alleging that 9,195 names of people from minorities and backward castes in Shivajinagar constituency of Bengaluru were missing.

“It is unfathomable and unbelievable that out of 193 booths, 91 of them were selectively picked up and the names that were under the voters’ lists in those booths were deleted where a large number of minorities reside. The damage caused is improbable to be believed!” read the memorandum.

In December last year, state Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai dismissed the charges of omission of minority voters from the electoral rolls calling them “lies”. He had responded after Congress had claimed that the names of minority voters were deleted.

Talking about his findings, Khalid said that he does not know the precise reasons behind the deletion of Muslim voters. But he hinted at two possibilities: the person may have migrated from the area or he can have changed his name. There is also a possibility that someone else approaches the Election Commission claiming that a particular person no longer lives in that constituency. So, their names would be removed even without the voters knowing about it.

“We put out the details on the app related to it. It’s now up to the concerned citizens and activists to find out why the names of these voters were missing,” he said.

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