Tamil Nadu has achieved the highest rate of increase in the number of electors in the country in the past five years.
The State’s electorate has grown by 29.15 per cent. In 2009, it was 4.16 crore. As per the electoral data released early this year, the total number went up to around 5.37 crore. (In fact, after the latest round of inclusion of eligible electors, the strength has risen by 12.90 lakh, taking the tally to 5, 50,42,876).
Tamil Nadu’s rate of growth is more than double that of the country. The rate is 13.61 per cent nationwide. Between 2009 and 2014, the country’s electorate went up from 71.7 crore to nearly 81.5 crore. In absolute numbers, Tamil Nadu’s strength of electors has grown by 1,21,32,222 crore, next only to the highest of 1,83,44,923 recorded by Uttar Pradesh. But the rate of Uttar Pradesh is 15.81 per cent.
Explaining the factors for such a high growth rate, Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar says the increased enrolment is largely due to intense measures taken in the past two years to cover eligible voters left out of enrolment. This has been achieved by a comparison of the data of the electorate with the provisional data of Census 2011, so that all aged 18 and above were included in the rolls. In the process, a greater number of women have been covered.
D. Jayaraj, a veteran demographer and Professor of the Madras Institute of Development Studies, says the development reflects better level of education and higher political participation on the part of people. Besides, the coverage of young voters is quite high.
On the impact of the migration of people from other States to Tamil Nadu on the rolls, Mr. Praveen Kumar says the department has been able to enrol a substantial number of migrant employees of the corporate and technology sectors, but construction workers were reluctant to register, despite a special drive.
Keywords: TN voters