Kerala

Decision to revise electoral rolls irks IUML

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Party approaches High Court and Election Commission

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has approached the Kerala High Court and the Election Commission against the revision of electoral rolls of 2015 for the forthcoming three- tier local body polls.

The party leadership demanded that the decision to revise the electoral rolls ahead of the local body polls was " inappropriate" and fraught with "practical problems." The electoral rolls which had already been revised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls should be the criteria for the approaching local body polls this year as well.

The development comes as the State Election Commission has issued orders for the inclusion of new voters in the fresh list.

On behalf of the party, the IUML Nadapuram Assembly mandalam president Sooppy Narikkatteri and Feroke municipality standing committee chairman and mandalam vice president P. Hashif filed a writ petition in the High Court and registered a complaint with the Election Commission.

They said that about 200-300 persons were added to the voters’ list in each ward before the 2015 local body polls. Then again more voters were added when the electoral rolls were revised before the 2016 Assembly polls and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

If the electoral rolls of 2015 were made applicable, then many voters would be unable to exercise their franchise for the 2020 polls. To include more people on the voters’ list was also unworkable, they said.

Besides, the IUML leaders said that the criteria for the 2015 local body polls was the electoral rolls that had been revised ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. It was not the voters list employed during the 2010 local body polls. The same principle should be adopted this time also, they said.

They pointed out that Section 83 of Kerala Municipality Act of 1994 stipulated that the State Election Commission, if it deemed necessary, prepare the electoral rolls of the municipality by adopting the existing electoral rolls of the legislative Assembly constituency without conducting an enumeration. Now the proposal to conduct the polls based on the earlier electoral rolls would only complicate matters and deprive the eligible voters the right to exercise their franchise, they said.

About 90% of the voters in the electoral list of 2019 will be included when fresh electoral rolls are prepared. Such an exercise will also be cumbersome.

In fact, majority of the voters in the belief that they are already enrolled in the voters’ list would show reluctance to add their names further in the new electoral rolls. Moreover, they also said the process of revision would make the officials and common man go through hardship, the IUML leaders said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:56:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/decision-to-revise-electoral-rolls-irks-iuml/article30544126.ece

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