EC gives another chance,parties to send agents by February 24

The Election Commission of India has given another opportunity to all recognised political parties to provide feedback about the electoral rolls at booth level.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published:February 19, 2009 12:37 am

The Election Commission of India (EC) has given another opportunity to all recognised political parties to provide feedback about the electoral rolls at booth level.

To this end,the Commission has asked political parties to ensure the presence of their Booth-Level Agents across the state on February 24. The Commission’s Booth-Level Officers will talk to the agents and receive feedback to improve the quality of the Electoral Roll.

“The exercise will also expose the level of groundwork done by the political parties,” said a source in the office of Chief Electoral Officer. The state has about 1.28 lakh booths across the state. “If a party has to put an agent in every booth,they need 1.28 lakh men,” source said. As expected,most parties are finding it difficult to select agents for the job. “Most have not developed their ground-level cadres. Now they are finding it difficult to find someone,” the official added.

Sources said it was the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which was the first to seize the opportunity and ensured the presence of agents at most booths across the state. “Except the BSP,no political parties could reap the benefits from this particular exercise. Later,after realising the importance of the scheme,they swung into action,” an official said.

The political parties,meanwhile,have undertaken special efforts to appoint agents at every booth.

“We have asked all district and city committees to give special priority to ensure presence of the agents at every booth,” said Subodh Kumar Srivastawa,UPCC’s general secretary and in-charge of the organisation in the state. “This exercise is good for us as it helps us to understand the depth of our ground-level work.”

According to him,the Congress is an old organisation and it is not difficult for the party to select agents for the booths. “But we would certainly collect a list of booths that remained unrepresented by the party in the absence of an agent,” he added. The list,it is expected,will help the party identify the weak areas of the organisation.

The BJP has also intensified its efforts to ensure that the party benefits from this scheme.

“The exercise helps us review our cadre strengths. District-level leaders have been asked to select an agent who can dedicate his time and collect correct information regarding the voters of his booth,” said Hero Vajpayee,the BJP spokesperson.

Earlier,the meeting between the block-level officers and agents was scheduled for February 23. The political parties,however,asked the Election Commission for a postponement,as February 23 is Mahashivratri. The revised date is February 24.

The SP state general secretary,Om Prakash Singh,said the party has put its legislators and parliamentarians on job. “The functionaries of district units are holding meetings at every booths across the state,” he added.

Although no senior leader of the BSP could be contacted,sources said the party is giving high priority to the scheme.

“We have already formed our Bhaichara Committees at booth level. This committee has representation from every caste. So this is an easy task for us to find agents for every booth,” said a party leader.

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