Headquarters of the Election Commission of India in New Delhi
Headquarters of the Election Commission of India in New Delhi | ECI
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An EC team led by a principal secretary-level officer is currently in MP for the audit, sources said.

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) has initiated a special audit of the electoral rolls in Madhya Pradesh after the discovery of 13,000 instances of incorrect entries in two assembly constituencies alone.

The electoral rolls for Kolaras listed 12,000 dead people, while 1,500 such names were found on those for Mungaoli. Bypolls were held in the two seats last month.

An EC team led by a principal secretary-level officer is currently in the state for the audit, sources told ThePrint.

BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh is expected to go to the polls in November this year. While electoral roll audits are conducted in each state three-four months ahead of assembly elections, the special audit now underway is over and above the regular exercise.

The bypolls and the allegations

The bypolls for Kolaras and Mungaoli saw a bitter contest, with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia leading the campaign for their parties’ candidates. The Congress ultimately won the two seats with small margins.

The issue of anomalies in the electoral rolls was flagged by the Congress ahead of the bypolls. The EC had acted swiftly, transferring out a district collector, doubling CRPF presence, and deputing 10 special observers to the two constituencies amid rising tensions and allegations about the use of political influence.

Earlier this month, the leader of the opposition in the assembly, Ajay Singh, and Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Arun Yadav had called on chief election commissioner O.P. Rawat and sought an investigation into “large-scale irregularities” in the state’s electoral rolls.

They had alleged that not only were the names of dead people listed on the electoral rolls of Kolaras and Mungaoli, but some were also repeated. They also complained that while the EC had transferred out the district collector for Ashok Nagar, where Mungaoli falls, before the elections, he had once again been posted as collector in the same district despite violating the model code of conduct.

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