An exercise of updating voter lists in eastern Uttar Pradesh's Ballia district has produced some disastrous results. Officials in the state faced tough questions after two leaked pages of the updated lists showed photographs of an elephant, a pigeon, a deer and film actress Sunny Leone next to the name of residents of the district.
In the two pages leaked to the media, a photograph of the movie star appears next to the name of a 51-year-old woman while the photo of the elephant appears next to the name of a 56-year-old-man.
These updated voter lists are still being scrutinised and have not been made public. The leaked pages eventually made it to local journalists who sought a clarification from district officials. "This was done by one of our data entry operators. He was recently transferred from a city area to a rural one. We have filed an FIR against this person and we are modifying these details," said Manoj Kumar Singhal, a senior officer with the Ballia district administration.
Voter lists are being updated across Uttar Pradesh before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In Ballia, the first deadline was July 15, according to reports in local newspapers. The data for the lists is provided by booth-level officers appointed by the district administration. This data is then entered and matched online by data entry operators. The final list is cleared by senior officers and sources say the errors were discovered when this cross-checking of data was happening.