ANDHRA PRADESH

Collector clarifies on deletion of voters' names

VISAKHAPATNAM, APRIL 24. All complaints over deletion of a large number of voters from electoral rolls would be looked into, the Collector and District Election Officer, Sunil Sharma, said here on Saturday.

The main reason for deletion could be due to voters not informing authorities about shifting their residence, Mr. Sharma felt. The exercise of verification of voters' list was taken up from September last, and every time voters were informed about the programme. The issue of Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPICs) had given them an impression that their names were live on the list but they did not know that they should inform authorities whenever they changed their residence. Asked why some voters who were residing at the same place for several years but were deleted from the list, Mr. Sharma said that they might not be present at their homes or insufficient information was given by others when the verification was done. Every voter was informed individually about deletion of his or her name before finally deleting his or her name.

He clarified that the mother list (also available on the CD and sold to the political parties) contained the lists of deleted names but the political parties might not have noticed the same.

Some officials in the Collectorate felt that it was imperative on the part of voters to check their names in the list when verification was done during November every year. It was found that some voters employed in the city or running business here, but living in rural areas, were having votes at both places. Such votes were deleted from the list.

It may be recalled that the names of nearly 2.5 lakh voters had been deleted during intensive verification done from September at the instance of the Election Commission and the final list was published in January. Political parties pointed out after the polling on April 20 that most of the names deleted were from the city. Their claim was that nearly 70,000 names had been deleted. The arrangements for counting of votes, to be held on May 11 for the Assembly constituencies and on May 13 for the Lok Sabha constituencies, were being made, he said.

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