Hyderabad: The Election Commission of India (ECI) had deleted the names of 44,721 deceased voters and two lakh duplicate voters in Telangana within four months. Moreover, more than 16.84 lakh new voters were added to the voters’ list while the special revision of electoral rolls was conducted in January ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2019.

The issue of deletion of duplicate votes has caused a huge controversy during the state polls. Therefore the election commission performed a ground-level verification at the booths and published fresh error-free electoral rolls. Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Dr Rajat Kumar told Times of India: “During the revision of electors before Telangana Assembly elections, we deleted the names of around 3 lakh dead voters. It is unlikely that dead voters can be impersonated. There are around six lakh first-time young voters in the age between 18 years to 19 years who have registered themselves as voters.”

According to the final electoral rolls published on Friday, the state has 2,95,18,964 voters of which 1,48,42,619 are men, 1,46,74,977 are women and 1,368 are third gender voters. In the Assembly elections held on December 7, the number of eligible voters was 2,80,74,722.

On February 4, YSR Congress Party President YS Jaganmohan Reddy sought the deletion of about 60 lakh duplicate votes that were allegedly created by the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP)-led government in Andhra Pradesh. He said his party has identified 52.67 lakh defective and duplicate voters in September 2018 and brought the matter to the attention of the CEC several times.

He claimed that the number of defective voters increased by 59.18 lakh at the behest of the TDP government. “Out of 3.69 crore voters, if nearly 60 lakh are “invalid or defective”, it reflects very badly on the election process,” said Jaganmohan Reddy.

At the meeting, Reddy also urged the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to conduct the parliamentary elections in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on the same day. This is because many people still have their votes in both states even after their bifurcation.

(With Agency inputs)