The voters’ enrolment process is going on smoothly; there has been an increase of 3.28 per cent in the number of eligible voters so far, according to Additional Deputy Commissioner Shivanand Kapsi.
He was speaking at a meeting called by Election Commission (EC) observer Shivayogi Kalasad regarding the revision of the electoral roll here on Friday. Dharwad has achieved 98.42 per cent achievement in issuing Electors Photo Identity Cards (EPIC). Of the total voters (13,13,179), as many as 12,92,383 have received cards as of November 30. Issuance of cards will be completed within the stipulated time, Mr. Kapsi added.
Assistant Commissioner Mahesh Karjagi said the district had 26.77 per cent voters in the 30-39 age group, and 23.15 per cent in the 20-29 age group. New voters (in the 18-19 age group) number one per cent in Kundagol and Kalghatagi, which is the highest in the district. In Dharwad, that number stands at 0.5 per cent; in Hubli-Dharwad (East), 0.82 per cent; and in Navalgund, 0.51 per cent.
Mr. Kalasad said the EC had extended the date for the enrolment of voters till December 6. Officials, office-bearers of political parties and others concerned have to strive to ensure maximum enrolment, he said.
The EC observer said that the online registration process for voters had gained momentum.
Officials should ensure that applications for enrolment and revision are disposed of on the same day they are submitted.
The district administration has to provide all the required help, including appointment of sufficient officials and staff, he said.
Party leaders M.M. Hindasageri (Congress), Rajanna Koravi (JD(S) and Sanjay Kapatakar (BJP) urged the Election Commission to further extend the last date for enrolment of voters. They said the staff shortage at voters’ enrolment centres, and the lack of proper training and information for Booth-Level Officers (BLOs), were creating hurdles.
Moreover, the commission should ensure that copies of the electoral roll were distributed among polling officers and election agents of political parties.
Mr. Kalasad expressed discontent over the progress of electoral roll revision process within Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) limits. He added that there had been several complaints about the registration process in the Hubli-Dharwad West, East and Central Assembly constituencies.
Referring to the some of the complaints, Mr. Kalasad said officials and staff at the zonal offices were facing charges of negligence in their duties. Similarly, there are complaints that the Hubli-Dharwad Central constituency has no BLOs. This will not be tolerated, he said, and instructed HDMC Commissioner Ramandeep Chowdhuri to correct the matter. He also told Mr. Chowdhuri to appoint “responsible officers and staff” for electoral roll revision work at the zonal offices. Officers deputed for this work should extend all aid to people and citizens should be informed about the status of their application whenever they approached the officers concerned.
Mr. Kalasad also instructed officials to set up helplines in all Assembly constituencies and direct BLOs to send progress reports regularly. Officers should strive to see that the applications are resolved immediately, he said.