Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, June 14:
It has now come to light that Odisha’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister Sanjay Das Burma is not the only politician belonging to Biju Janata Dal (BJD) who has his name registered in the voters’ list at two different places.
Many MLAs and MPs of the ruling party possess dual voter ID cards in gross violation of the Representation of the People Act, 1950. The Chief Electoral Office (CEO), Odisha, however, has remained mysteriously silent over the issue.
The CEO, which claimed that it had deleted about 8.84 lakh names from the voter list by January 15 this year, strangely spared the names of people’s representatives figuring in two different places even though the MLAs and MPs have mentioned in their affidavits that they have houses at various places in the state.
The BJP had raised the issue of Dasburma registering his name in the voter list in Malud block with Voter ID number KRK 1459098 and in Kharabela Nagar in Bhubaneswar with the ID number RXL 0516864. But it now transpires that Dasburma is now in the illustrious company of Pinaki Mishra, Tathagat Satpathy, Kalikesh Singhdeo, Nagendra Pradhan, Bikram Arukh, Maheswar Mohanty, Jogendra Behera, Pramila Mallick, Byomkesh Ray, Arun Patnaik and Umakant Samantray all of whom have registered their names at two different places.
Dhenkanal MP Tathagat Satpathy, son of Late Debendra Nath Satpathy has his name registered in the voter list at Kunjakant of Dhenkanal city with identity card number OR/19/118/312369. But he has also got his name registered at his Surya Nagar residence in the capital city with bearing voter ID number OR/19/118/312369. The number of voter ID cards and the father’s name are the same in the two cases.
These details are shown on the website of CEO.
Puri MP Pinaki Mishra also has dual voter ID cards. While he has registered his name in Nageswar Tangi of Gautam Nagar in Bhubaneswar with RMU 0855o64, the Supreme Court lawyer has also registered his name in New Delhi with voter card number SJE 0798074. His father’s name Loknath Mishra is the same at both the voter lists. Mishra has two residential buildings in the national capital.
Bolangir MP Kalikesh Singhdeo has two voter ID cards in Bhubaneswar and Bolangir.
Kalikesh, son of former minister AU Singhdeo, has a voter ID card at Gopabandhu Nagar bearing ID no RXL 0664904, besides one in Bolangir bearing no LLP 2032423.
Sambalpur MP Nagendra Pradhan, who belongs to Angul district, has one voter ID card at Hakimpada in Angul district with voter card number OR/19/116/224490, has also registered his name in Bhubaneswar. He has a residential building in Madhusudan Nagar, Unit-VI.
Loisinga MLA and MSME Minister Jogendra behera has also two voter cards bearing number KLX 3052628 in MLA colony here and in his village Belgan with voter Id no LGY 1382266.
Former Law Minister and former Speaker Maheswar Mohanty has double ID cards on at Puri and in Bhubaneswar.
The Puri MLA has registered his name at College road, Puri with voter Id number OR 08056290019 while he has also registered his name in MLA colony, Bhubaneswar. Similarly, Binjharpur MLA and women’s wing president of BJD Pramila Mallick has double voter IDs in Binjharpur and Jagamara, Khandagiri.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Arukh has two voter IDs in possession, one registered at MLA colony and other at Agajhol, the village of the Minister in Ganjam.
Chandabali MLA and BJD students’ wing president Byomkesh Ray has double voter ID cards, one at Baghanata of Chandabali and Bidyadharpur of Cuttack Sadar.
While the glaring discrepancies have been reported in the website of CEO, activists have demanded action against the violators for throwing norms into the wind.
“Law does not permit a person to procure voter ID in more than one place. It constitutes violation of Section 17 and 18 of the Representation of People’s Act 1951. Their act of filing false affidavit is a criminal offence under Section 193, 199 and 200 of Indian penal code and they should be brought to justice,” said Subash Mohapatra, a human rights activist.
According to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mona Sharma, the state had 2.89 crore voters, including 1.50 crore male voters and 1.38 crore female voters, by 15 January this year. The CEO’s office had deleted 8.84 lakh ID cards.
Under Section 31 of People’s Representation Act, any person keeping two voter ID cards has to mention the number and place of both cards and declare which ID card he/she wants to retain.