With just over a month left the Lok Sabha polls in Mumbai, authorities continues to work overtime to fix city’s electoral registers.
In the suburbs of Mumbai alone, photographs of nearly 13.60 lakh voters are still missing from the rolls.
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Referred to as residual voters, these make up for nearly 19 per cent of the suburban rolls (13.60 lakh of 73.12 lakh).
In the final bid to update the rolls, suburban collector and district election officer Shekhar Channe Saturday said, “There will be a special registration drive from Sunday, where voters can submit their photographs at a polling booth nearest to the residence.”
While the drive is basically to enroll new voters, Channe said officials at the polling booth would verify and accept photographs of residual voters too. He added that door-to-door verifications of such voters were already ongoing. During an earlier door-to-door exercise, election authorities in Mumbai suburbs succeeded in tracing only 4.04 lakh voters. Photographs of 78, 480 voters were collected; whereas election officials reported that about 3.25 lakh voters had either shifted or died.
Channe said the registration drive will be on till March 24, following which election authorities will issue an official notification for the ensuing polls.
Those interested in enrolling afresh will have to fill up a form (FORM 6), which can also be downloaded from the official election website. Election officials said applicants will also have to carry documentary proof of their residence and birth date. For more information regarding enrollment, those interested can also use the toll free number 1950.
Election officials did not rule out the existence of bogus voters in the rolls. Deputy district election officer Tarunkumar Khatri also blamed the movement of people within the city and the suburbs on account of redevelopment for a large number of residual voters. “Many of them have shifted to an alternate location, but haven’t contacted officials for deletion of names from the original voter list. Since these voters might visit the polling booth they are originally registered with, we decided against deleting their names,” Khatri said.
Channe informed that election authorities had so far deleted 7.39 lakh names from the rolls. These include 50,206 deceased voters, 1.11 lakh who were found to have shifted, and 1.26 lakh names, which were appearing more than once in the rolls. About eight lakh first-time voters have enrolled in Mumbai suburbs, Channe said.
As part of the preparations for elections, Channe informed that a committee has been formed to monitor and curb instances paid news during elections for the four LS constituencies in Mumbai suburbs. The committee will comprise police officials, media personalities and government officials nominated by election authorities. Besides this, Channe said, special video surveillance teams, flying squads and static surveillance teams will be deployed in all constituencies to check illegal activities during the elections.
Khatri informed that for complaints pertaining to violation of the model code of conduct , a citizen can call on the toll-free number 1800221952.