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Jwala Gutta’s name missing from electoral roll since 2016: Chief Electoral Officer

Questioning the fairness of the elections, the 35-year-old Gutta said that names are “mysteriously disappearing from the list”.

SNS | New Delhi |

A day after shuttler Jwala Gutta raised a storm stating that her name disappeared from the voter list in Hyderabad, Telangana’s election body chief admitted that her name was missing from electoral roll since 2016.

Telangana’s Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar told ANI, “I do empathise with Jwala Gutta. Actually, her name has been missing from electoral roll since 2016. So, in 2016, 2017, 2018, the inclusion was not there. We will rectify that situation.”

Earlier on 7 December, when the state went to polls, the badminton star took to micro-blogging site Twitter to express her surprise at not finding her name in the list even though it was there when she checked online.

“Surprised to see my name disappear from the voting list after checking online,” Gutta tweeted.

Questioning the fairness of the elections, the 35-year-old Gutta said that names are “mysteriously disappearing from the list”.

“How’s the election fair when names are mysteriously disappearing from the list?” she asked in the second tweet.

Gutta later released a video stating that in her family of four, only her mother was able to vote as the names of her sister and her father were missing, too.

Reacting to Gutta’s tweets, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of having a hand in the disappearance of the names. He also levelled serious accusations against the Election Commission.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief claimed that the BJP removed the names of 30 lakh voters in Delhi.

“Names of 30 lakh voters have been similarly deleted by BJP in Delhi. It seems BJP is doing it all over the country in active collusion wid Election Commission,” he tweeted.

In her video Gutta said that she is not raising the issue for any political objective.

“I don’t have to do this to join a political party,” she said.

Originally scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections next year, the House was dissolved prematurely on 6 September as per a recommendation by the state cabinet necessitating the polls.

It is for the first time that the Election Commission is using Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in Telangana. This is the first full-fledged election in the country’s youngest state.