Discrepancies in electoral roll and laxity of booth level officers (BLOs) in the recent summary roll revision exercise were the two key issues raised by political parties in their first meeting with the Election Commission regarding the Lok Sabha preparations on Sunday.
EC’s deputy commissioner Vinod Zutshi, along with UP Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha, held the meeting with representatives of six national and two state political parties in Lucknow.
In the evening, Zutshi held a meeting with the ADGP and Home Department officials to discuss preparations for the Lok Sabha elections.
Former Assembly Speaker and senior BSP leader Sukhdev Rajbhar said , during the meeting, that BLOs did not provide application forms for voter registration to people during summary revision.
He also rued that BLOs in various constituencies get influenced either by a political person or party and did not process application forms of those who are supporters of rival parties.
The senior BSP leader also complained of discrepancies in distribution of Electors Photo Identity Card (EPICs) and demanded the commission to ensure coordination between the local police and the central forces at polling booths during the polls.
Samajwadi Party leader and former MP Bhagwati Singh said, “I demanded the commission to issue instructions to district magistrates to set up polling booths at nearby places in consultation with political parties.”
SP candidate for Lucknow Lok Sabha constituency Ashok Bajpai said a number of eligible people living in slums in Lucknow have not been covered in the electoral roll. He suggested the commission to hold district level workshops for political parties to make their workers aware of the model code of conduct.
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BJP representative Amit Puri suggested the commission to issue clear guidelines to district administration regarding monitoring of canvassing on social media, deposition of arms in indiscriminate manner during polls and setting up of counters of polling parties within 200-metre radius of polling booths.
BJP complained that BLOs did not collect voter registration forms from drop boxes placed in schools, colleges and shopping malls.
RLD national secretary Anil Dubey complained that the SP and the BSP have declared their candidates over a year ago and are canvassing with publicity materials. Dubey demanded the commission to include these expenses in poll expenditure of respective candidates.
RLD asked the EC to ensure that security personnel did not stop voters on the borders of the district if they wanted to cast vote in any other district.
Congress leader Rakesh Mishra, too, complained of irregularities in the voters’ registrations and said BLOs did not visit polling booths during recent summary revision and party’s booth level agents could not, therefore, submit application forms.