Applications for inclusion in poll roll to be rigorously scrutinised

Naresh Gupta

Naresh Gupta  

Special Correspondent

Large number has created doubts, says Naresh Gupta

CHENNAI: Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta said here on Thursday that large number of applications for inclusion of names in the electoral roll close to the elections had created doubts about the genuineness of the applicants.

Hence, all the applications will undergo rigorous scrutiny, he told presspersons here. “Time is very short. But, even then, we cannot do away with extensive scrutiny. No stage of scrutiny can be skipped.”

He said a second supplementary to the electoral roll would be finalised only in the first week of May. However, the CEO refused to give a date when the verification process would be completed.

8.4 lakh claims

During the process of continuous updating of electoral roll taken up after the final publication (supplementary – 1) of summary revision 2009, about 8.4 lakh claims have been received till April 13. The maximum claims have been in Madurai (1,12,334) followed by Coimbatore (61,427), Tiruvallur (50,393) and Tiruchi (45,583).

“There have been a large number of claims…Only cases where there is no doubt can we process. The number of applications received is equivalent of a summary revision. This has never been the case during a continuous revision,” Mr.Gupta said.

He made it clear that all incomplete forms would be rejected. For instance, if an applicant had not mentioned the address where he or she stayed earlier, the application would be rejected.

After completion of verification of claims received, data entry had to be made followed by scanning of photographs linking them with elector’s data in the data base. The electronic rolls check list would be generated and compared with the forms received. This would be followed by checks for duplication to ensure that there was no multiple entry of any voter.

Mr. Gupta said that all district election officers had been instructed to ensure proper verification of the claims received and not take up the processing of forms with incomplete particulars. In the case of new entrants in age group between 18 and 24, birth certificate or school certificate was needed for evidence of age.

The CEO said that he had received some complaints on distribution of tokens in some areas, which could be exchanged for gifts/cash later. He said that the tokens were distributed after voters performed ‘aarti’ for the candidate or a politician canvassing in the area. He had instructed DEOs and Returning Officers to look into the complaints.

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