Will removal of 6 lakh bogus votes impact Hyderabad LS seat result?

The Jubilee Hills Assembly seat had the most duplicate votes removed at 60,953, including 3,101 deceased voters.

Hyderabad: The electoral battle for the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat in the upcoming General Election is likely to see a drastic change in number of votes parties will get, given that the Election Commission of India (EC) has removed close to 6 lakh bogus votes in the Hyderabad district, of which a majority fall in the constituency.

Hyderabad District Election Officer and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner Ronald Ross at a recent press conference shared with media that during the ‘purification process’, close to 6 lakh votes were removed in Hyderabad district. This is likely to impact the results for the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency, currently held by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) supremo Asaduddin Owaisi.

The deletion of bogus votes under the Hyderabad Parliamentary constituency has always been a contentious issue. Congress leaders like Feroze Khan and others from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been alleging from years that the AIMIM, which has seven Assembly seats in Hyderabad, uses bogus votes to win elections each time.

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Where votes were deleted in the Hyderabad seat

If we get into details, the Jubilee Hills Assembly seat had the most duplicate votes at 60,953, including 3,101 deceased voters. 53,012 of voters had shifted to other places. Chandrayangutta and Yakutpura Assembly seats followed with 59,289 and 48,296 duplicate votes, which were deleted.

More importantly, it may be noted that out of the 15 Assembly seats in Hyderabad district from which bogus or duplicate votes were removed, five of those – Chandrayangutta, Yakutpura, Nampally, Malakpet, and Bahadurpura – accounted for 2.29 lakh bogus votes out of the 5.4 lakh duplicate votes. All four are held by the AIMIM.

According to the 2019 voter list, there are roughly 20 lakh voters in the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency. Officials during the purification exercise between January 2023 and March 2024 removed approximately 2.50 lakh duplicate voters that amount to about 12 per cent of total registered voters.

During the same period in Hyderabad district, around 5 lakh new voters were added to the voter’s lists. However, it is an open secret all political parties try to capitalize bogus votes during elections as local booth level voters are aware of those who pass away, or of people who shift to other places and otherwise are aware of those who don’t cast their votes.

It is to be seen how the removal of bogus votes impacts the Hyderabad seat in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Hyderabad, and also the next Telangana Assembly election in 2028. In 2019, Lok Sabha elections, Owaisi won the Hyderabad seat with 5.17 lakh votes. The second position was held by BJP candidate Dr. Bhagwant Rao, who got 2.35 lakh. In total, with 44 per cent polling was recorded the total registered voters were 19,57,931.

In 2014, Lok Sabha polls, Asaduddin Owaisi got 5.13 lakh votes with 52.94 per cent vote share. Bhagwant Rao from the BJP got 3.11 lakh votes with 32.05 per cent vote share. The voter turnout was 53 per cent and the total votes were 18,23,217 for the Hyderabad seat. During the previous 2019 elections, the police had caught women who were moving around in auto rickshaws and casting their votes at different police stations through impersonation.

Telangana state has 17 parliamentary seats, of which the Hyderabad seat comprises seven Assembly segments – Malakpet, Karwan, Goshamahal, Charminar, Chandrayangutta, Yakutpura and Bahadurpura. The Hyderabad constituency is a general seat and not reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).

The AIMIM, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and Congress are the main contesting parties in the constituency. AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi has been representing the constituency since 2004. His father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi won the seat six times in a row in 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999. The AIMIM has not lost since 1984.

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