Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA: The process of preparing photo electoral rolls in all the Assembly segments of Krishna district would begin on May 12 and continue up to July 14, but this drive is not for issuing Elector Photo Identity Cards (EPICs) to existing or prospective voters.

District Collector Shailaja Ramaiyer made it clear to newspersons on Sunday, after a meeting with representatives of political parties, that the Election Commission of India (ECI) had not given any directions to issue EPICs. The instruction was to generate an electoral roll with the names of existing voters and their photos stored in CDs by the district administration when EPICs were issued in 1997 and 2003. These rolls would be taken during door-to-door verification to check whose photographs were not available and whether there were any new voters whose names needed to be included along with their photographs. Addition and deletion of names would also be a part of the drive.

Ms. Ramaiyer said of the 29.46 lakh voters in Krishna district, 21.57 lakh voters were issued EPICs. Only 7.89 lakh voters had not been given these cards.

Verification process

Along with Joint Collector G. Ramanarayana Reddy and Sub-Collector Gaurav Uppal, the district Collector addressed a meeting where the nitty-gritty of the new verification process was explained to the representatives of various political parties. The Collector sought their cooperation in preparing clean and undisputed electoral rolls so that there would not be any scope for future complications or complaints.

She made a special appeal to the political parties to create awareness among their party cadres and local people to help the officials in preparing clean electoral rolls.

Mr. Ramanarayana Reddy told the representatives of political parties that changes pertaining to inclusion of proper age of individual voters, deletion of bogus voters, inclusion of new voters and photographing of voters who had not been given the cards earlier would form part of the drive.

The officials clarified that the names of only those who could prove themselves as ordinary residents of an address would be enrolled as voters. The Joint Collector said special booth level officers were appointed for the purpose of carrying out this verification exercise.