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Delimitation panel proposal not to be enforced

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REVIEW MEETING: Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon holding discussions with officials in Pondicherry on Monday.
REVIEW MEETING: Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon holding discussions with officials in Pondicherry on Monday.

Special Correspondent

The final voter list will be published on January 31, says Tandon

Pondicherry: Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon on Monday said Assembly elections in Pondicherry would be held as per the existing constituencies without delimitation of segments.

Mr. Tandon, who had a separate meeting with representatives of political parties and also officers of the Departments of Elections and Police departments, told a press conference here that the political parties had sought clarification whether the proposed delimitation of constituencies would be effected in the polls. He clarified that the status quo in the number of constituencies would continue.

(The Delimitation Commission had proposed that Pondicherry would have 23 constituencies against the present 21, while Karaikal would have five against six. Mahe would have only one segment against two and Yanam would continue to be lone constituency).

Mr. Tandon said he had taken note of the suggestion of almost all political parties that the election be held here on the same day when neighbouring States went to the polls.

He said he also reviewed the preparedness of the election machinery. As per the previous revision of electoral roll, the Union Territory had a total strength of 6.49 lakh voters with January 1, 2005 as the qualifying date for enrolment. Now with January 1, 2006 as the qualifying date, the final voter list would be published on January 31.

He maintained that the Election Commission was keen that the electoral roll should be error free and there should be cent per cent coverage of voters.

Mr. Tandon said the Union Territory had a total of 557 polling stations. He asserted that no polling booth should have more than 1200 voters and where the voter strength exceeded the limit for a booth, auxiliary booths would be opened. Special arrangements such as ramps should be provided for physically challenged. He had asked the returning officers to verify the location of polling stations. The polling booths should be in ground floor only.

On election funding, Mr. Tandon said he had convened a meeting of all political parties on February 15 to discuss the matter.

The CEC said he had also discussed with police and electoral officers on the availability of forces in the Union Territory.

The Deputy Election Commissioner, Anand Kumar, was also present.

The Chief Electoral Officer of Pondicherry, S. Kumaraswamy, and the Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Rudra Goud, were among the district electoral officers who briefed the CEC on poll related works here.

Earlier on arrival, Mr. Tandon had a meeting with the Lt Governor, M.M. Lakhera at Rajnivas.


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