On Friday the 15th March 2019, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Sri Manish Sisodia, Delhi Rajya Sabha Member Sri Sanjay Singh, Contestants from Delhi for Parliament Membership Sri Raghav Chadha and Ms. Atishi and a number of others were staging a protest at the gates of Election Commission and raising slogans, and demanding an immediate meeting with ECI, about Police raids without warrants on AAP call centers.
Video date – Mar 13,2019
Background: Apparently, the Election Commission in Delhi has wrongfully deleted about thirty lakh (30,00,000) names of Delhi voters from electoral lists in the last three to four years, with a lot of false stated reasons such as death of the voter or voter shifting away etc, without informing the affected voters/their families and without checking with them. This came to the attention of AAP a few months ago. A a lot of those voters are very much alive and have very much been at the same residential address. AAP got the lists of such voters’ names thus deleted, from the Election Commission’s Office, and have engaged call centers to contact the voters whose names were thus deleted, making them aware of this problem, and helping them to re-enroll their names in the voter’s lists. In the three (3) days ending on 15 th March, Delhi Police had raided four (4) call centers without the warrant, taking the employees to the police stations and harassing them, harassing the management of the call centers, demanding data that the call centers were working with, demanding personal details of call centers employees and where they lived etc, and in these
and other ways, intimidating the call centers and their staff. Ironically, the fourth raid in three days happened about one hour after Deputy CM of Delhi Sri Manish Sisodia had met CEC Sri Sunil Arora about this very issue on the morning of 15th March 2019.
AAP Protest at EC Office: In the above background, AAP people as above staged a protest with slogans in front of ECI’s office, and demanded an immediate meeting with the EC, to stop this harassment and intimidation. They then had a meeting with EC, and demanded suspension of some specific senior police officers who were involved in these raids, and also demanded a stop to such police intimidation and harassment. AAP asked EC to investigate as needed, without police involvement, if EC had any questions about this matter. Further, AAP asked EC, what wrong had AAP committed if any, in this matter? Was it wrong to make sure that voters’ names are not wrongfully deleted or to ensure re-enlisting if they were wrongfully deleted? Was it wrong to try to ensure that all voters have their names in voting lists as they should be?
"दिल्ली पुलिस @AmitShah और @narendramodi के दबाव में आकर, उनके गुंडे की तरह व्यवहार कर रही है।
इसलिए पिछले 4 दिनों से हमारे 4 कॉल सेंटरों पर रेड की गई।
इससे साफ पता चलता है कि मोदी और शाह हमारे कैंपेन से डरे हुए हैं"- @AtishiAAP pic.twitter.com/t3krQsxgdo
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) March 15, 2019
Delhi Police Under Central Government: Delhi Police comes under Home Ministry of Central Government which is now under BJP rule.
Delhi CEO (Chief Electoral Officer) had issued a Press Statement Recently against “fake” phone calls regarding deleted voters’ names:
A few weeks earlier, as I recall, CEO of Delhi had issued a press statement that there were reports of “fake” phone calls about voters’ names being deleted from voters’ lists and that police would take action against anyone making such phone calls.
Failure of Election Commission to do its functions properly: If the election commission functioned properly, there should have been no problems like incorrect deletion of names of voters from voter lists, and there should also be no fake voters’ names. If any voters’ names were incorrect, the Election Commission should have taken prompt steps to rectify the situation immediately with its own resources, without AAP needing to engage in such work at the cost of AAP.
If voters’ names were incorrectly deleted, another question would be, were the names thus deleted were of special interest to any particular political party/ies? There were reports/allegations that the deleted names were disproportionately high, of voter categories like Dalits, Muslims, small business people, Vysya community persons, and persons of Uttaranchal origin (Eastern UP and Bihar), all of which were suspected to be unfavorable to BJP.
Video date – Nov 2, 2018
1. Conflicts of Interests In the Process of Appointment of Election Commissioners:
CEC (ChiefElection Commissioner) and ECs (Election Commissioners) are appointed by the Central Government of the day, which in turn is formed by the political party or the alliance of political parties that have majority support in the Parliament. CEC and the two ECs together form the ECI (Election Commission of India). ECI is a constitutionally mandated body whose mandate is to conduct free and fair elections, without any bias in favor of or against, any particular political party or alliance of parties. Given that the EC is appointed by the Central Govt of the day (read
“ruling party in the Central Govt”), is there not a conflict of interest in favor of the ruling party? Human beings being what they are, there seems to be automatically, a huge potential for conflicts of interests. A process of appointment of Election Commissioners needs to be reformed to not allow such potential conflicts of interest.
2. Processes for Election Commission to Delete Voters’ names, Add names, and to maintain
accurate Voters’ lists in an ongoing manner, seem to be seriously deficient and faulty:
In a democracy, the rights of all citizens to be able to vote, and the rights of the society as a whole to have all genuine voters be able to vote, and to avoid and prevent any fake voters, is a very fundamental requirement. Deletion of about thirty lakh (30,00,000) voters as above, without a proper process to ensure the accuracy of this exercise, or worse, with malicious intent to distort election results, is a very serious problem. It is a crime against the democracy of our country. These processes are in need of very serious reform, and there need to be strong safeguards to ensure ongoing accuracy of voters’ lists at all times.
3. Half Statehood for Delhi means 2nd Class Citizenship for Indians living in Delhi:
People of Delhi elect a Government, but Delhi Police is not answerable to the Government elected by the people of Delhi. Delhi Police comes under Home Ministry of Government of India. Effectively, in this regard, the people of Delhi are treated like second class citizens of India. Central Government gets this power to treat people of Delhi this way, by the votes that people all over the rest of India have given to elect the Central Government. People of the rest of India should not tolerate this kind of mistreatment of their fellow Citizens living in Delhi. The law needs to be changed to give full statehood to Delhi.
4. Cruelty of BJP and its Allies against the people of Delhi Exposes The True Character of these Parties –
It makes them unfit to rule in the rest of the Country as well: Even though the current law gives control of Delhi Police to Home Ministry of GOI, which is presently formed by BJP and its allied parties, the fact that they are misusing this wrongful power is problematic. They are torturing the people of Delhi by obstructing their basic democratic rights to rightfully have their names in the voters’ lists and to be able to choose their representatives as they see fit in an honest and transparent election process. When the democratic rights of our fellow citizens in
Delhi is being tortured this way by these political parties, what does it say about their true character? Can they represent our values? Should Indians in the rest of India vote for such parties? I think not.