Distribution of Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) will be suspended temporarily from Monday in West Bengal following declaration of the election dates. However,the office of the state chief electoral officer clarified that registration of new voters and applications for inclusion of voters names in the electoral roll will continue.
The state election commission officials said the distribution had to be suspended as the election dates have been announced and the election officials will get busy with other poll-related works. Consequently,nearly 6 percent of the total voters in West Bengal will have no EPIC and if they want to vote they will have to carry other supportive identity documents on the day of polling.
To ensure transparency and reduce poll-related complaints,a meeting will be held for setting up a poll information network on Monday. According to the Chief Electoral Officer,Debasish Sen,all additional district magistrates and communication officers of 19 districts have been invited to attend the meeting and designate a neutral and apolitical person for each of the 52000 polling booths in the state. We will depute apolitical persons at polling booths and information and contact numbers about them will be uploaded on our website, said Sen.
The commission is also trying to identify the mobile shadow zones,areas with no mobile network and eliminate the problem. We are holding meetings with cellphone network providers so that they can arrange connectivity in the shadow areas which are out of the network coverage, said Sen.