Haldia flooded with wannabe voters,EC in a fix

The electoral office of Haldia Assembly constituency is in a fix after being flooded with around 4,000 applications for inclusion in the voters list that do not even have proper details or identity proof.

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Published:March 26, 2009 2:44 am

The electoral office of Haldia Assembly constituency is in a fix after being flooded with around 4,000 applications for inclusion in the voters list that do not even have proper details or identity proof.

Haldia is a sensitive area as it is adjacent to Nandigram,a hypersensitive area. Moreover,Tamluk,the parliamentary constituency,is under the scanner as the CPM is almost ruined in the area after the Nandigram fiasco.

Considering the tension in the area,the EC is in a bind as to how to tackle the large numbers of applicants without any proper identity proof.

According to sources,around 317 of the 4,000 applicants are students of Haldia Institute of Technology (HIT) and most of them fall in the age group of 23-25 years. An official said the students have several Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC). Some have their EPICs in the areas where they have their permanent residences and have again applied for EPIC in Haldia constituency.

The rest of the 4,000 are mostly contractual labourers who work in the industrial belt in Haldia and in Sutahata. They are mostly residents of other states,including Bihar,Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.

“We have received around 4,000 applications for inclusion in the electoral rolls. They do not have any identity proof. Moreover,most of them are above the age of 25. During the hearing session,they could not satisfy our electoral registration officers ,” said Reshmi Kamal,sub-divisional officer,Haldia.

“We have been asked by the EC to insist on the identity proof and to track the previous electoral records for tracing out their history,if any. Some of them have EPICs of different states. We are looking into the matter. But we will not issue any EPIC to those who are having other states’ EPICs until they surrender them. Or else,they can cast their votes twice,” Kamal added.

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