Hyderabad: Hundreds of voters who are set to cast their votes in next year's MLC graduate election have received a text message from BJP's Member of Legislative Council and floor leader N. Ramchander Rao.

The text message reads, "I am extremely delighted to inform you that you have been successfully enrolled as a voter on the rolls of HYD-RR-MBNR graduates MLC constituency. Looking forward for your support and blessing to give me another opportunity to work for better society. Regards, N Ramchander Rao, MLC, BJP Floor leader, TSLC."

Mr. Rao is the BJP MLC from Mahabubnagar- Rangareddy-Hyderabad graduates constituency and his term is set to end on 29 March 2021.

The curious message has left voters wondering how the MLC and the BJP got hold of their phone numbers. Many took to Twitter to voice their concerns. Pravallika Achyutuni, a registered voter, tweeted, "I recently enrolled for the Graduate constituency by submitting my details through Form 18. Since then, I have been receiving letters/messages from the candidates. Why was my mobile number and address shared with the candidates?! (sic)"

Another voter, Bhavabhuthi, tweeted, "I registered for MLC elections recently and now I get this message !! How come my number got shared to these people? @ECISVEEP Is it #VoterDataLeak? (sic)"

One of the Twitter users, Dharani Reddy, accused the BJP of misusing their data and tweeted, "This is how BJP is misusing the technology. My doubt is how these electoral phone numbers data leaked to BJP IT cell."

The voters are asking how parties and their candidates can get their phone numbers and other data. "I registered for MLC voter lists in Telangana and I get a message from the BJP Floor Leader about my successful enrollment. How are my details shared with BJP @ECISVEEP ?," tweeted Srinivas Kodali, an activist.

The Opposition leaders have also raised questions about these text messages. Ghanshyam Tiwari, the spokesperson of Samajwadi Party, tweeted, "Matter of time, you may get a message - thank you for voting for BJP. Irrespective of whether you voted, your vote for BJP has been counted. Privacy is limited to PMCares."

Also, people are alleging that the Congress party has also got access to their contact details.

The response from Telangana State Election Commission is awaited.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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