NATIONAL

Fall in vote percentage in Bihar: RJD blames it on EC

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Not satisfied with the response by the Election Commission (EC), a delegation of senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders submitted a memorandum to the President, Abdul Kalam, expressing "serious concern" over the sharp decline in voting percentage in the previous Bihar Assembly elections. The delegation sought his intervention to ensure that no person who was registered as a voter in the electoral rolls was deprived of his/her right to vote.

The RJD believes that the reason for the fall in the number of voters by 50 lakhs despite an increase in the voting population by 73 lakhs is the EC's "mandatory requirement of electoral identity card or 14 documents as an alternative to electoral identity cards." By placing the condition of proving the identity through an electoral identity card or any other specified documents, the Election Commission (EC) could not deprive the poor of the right to vote, the party said.

While maintaining that it had no intention of undermining the dignity and authority of the EC, the RJD team said, "it becomes our duty to raise our voice when such a large number of poor and backward people are deprived of their constitutional rights only because they are helpless."

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