Correspondent

Party leaders allege several irregularities in the draft list

  • Congress stages massive demonstration on the issue recently
  • Inclusion of genuine voters in the list demanded
  • CUTTACK: The Cuttack City Congress Committee has threatened to launch an indefinite hunger strike in front of the district collector's office here from May 7 if the faulty draft electoral roll-2007 for the city Assembly segment released recently is not corrected immediately.

    Claiming that many bogus voters are now eligible to cast their vote, the party alleges that names of some genuine voters are deleted from the electoral roll, which was prepared by the local administration at the behest of the city MLA Samir Dey of BJP, a Minister in State Cabinet.

    City Congress chief Suresh Mohapatra had first brought the irregularities in the roll to the notice of district electoral officer last month. The Congress also staged a massive demonstration before the collector's office recently. Several senior Congress leaders of the district, including former MP Jayanti Patnaik and former minister Bijaylaxmi Sahu too have thrown their weight behind Mr. Mohapatra.

    `Names missing'

    The Congress leaders alleged that as many as 29,000 genuine voters of the city could not exercise their franchise during the April 2004 simultaneous Assembly and parliamentary polls as their names did not figure in the list. The same irregularities were again repeated in the new electoral roll that was released early this month, the party alleged.

    "Despite several representations to the administration for a thorough door-to-door contact to include the names of genuine voters in the list, the administration acted at the behest of the BJP legislator to delete the names of Congress voters from the list.

    Submitting a memorandum to the district collector, Mr. Mohaptra pointed out that about 2000 bogus names, including the names of some dead persons still continue in the draft electoral roll-2007.

    "As the correct electoral roll is the root of democracy, Mr. Mohapatra said no elections in the city should be held with the faulty list released by the administration. The Congress lost the Assembly election by a narrow margin of 3000 votes in the city as names of about 28, 938 voters were deleted. Most of the voters denied the opportunity to exercise their franchise," he said.