Petition filed by UDF candidates of Udumbanchola, Devikulam and Peerumade
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday informed the Kerala High Court that steps have been taken to prevent cross-border voting in the Devikulam, Udumbanchola and Peerumade constituencies.
The ECI made the submission when a petition filed by E.M. Augusthy, D. Kumar and Cyriac Thomas, UDF candidates of the Udumbanchola, Devikulam and Peerumade constituencies respectively seeking to stop dual voting by persons whose names have figured in the voters’ list of both Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Counsel for the ECI further submitted that the Idukki District Collector and the District Police Chief had held a special meeting with the Theni District Collector and Theni District Police Chief and discussed about the prevention of dual voting. Special teams of the Forest Department were deployed to conduct checking in the interior parts of the forest.
Besides, on the polling day, steps would be taken to utilise the CCTV surveillance system on the four checkposts to prevent such voters entering the constituencies. Police forces have been deployed on the borders and major roads for round-the-clock surveillance and prevention of unauthorised entry through border points.
The ECI counsel further submitted that at a special summary revision held in the months of November and December 2020, a total of 9,636 names were removed from the categories of shifted and dead persons from the voters list in the district. Besides,1,229 shifted and dead voters were deleted during the renewal of the voters list ahead of the Assembly election.
The ECI submitted that as the polls in Kerala and Tamil Nadu were scheduled on April 6, there would not be any possibility of cross-voting.
The petitioners pointed out that the three constituencies from where they are contesting shared their boundary with the Bodinaykannor, Cumbum and Theni Assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu. Large number of voters in these constituencies had registered in the electoral rolls of the bordering constituencies of Kerala. The ECI was not taking any steps to prevent the inflow of these persons with votes in two States, the petitioners alleged.
The court disposed of the petition after recording the submission of the ECI.
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