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More than 1.50 lakh voters have been added to electoral rolls of Rajkot district in last three-and-a-half- year even as Rajkot district collector, in his capacity as district election officer (DEO) announced a brief roll revision exercise on Friday.
Rajkot collector Vikrant Pandey said that any person who has completed 18 years as of January 1, 2017 and whose name is not on electoral rolls will be eligible to register as a voter. Booth level officers (BLOs) will remain present at all the 2,124 polling booths in the district on 9th, 16th and 23rd of this month and will accept applications from people to get themselves registered as voters. All these days are Sunday and the BLOs will accept applications from 10 am to 6 pm, the DEO said.
Pandey further said that voters can also get errors in their EPIC (elector’s photo identity card) cards and other details in the electoral rolls corrected during this drive. A voter will also be able to transfer his registration as electorate from one assembly constituency to another, he added.
“We have held meeting with representatives of political parties at taluka level. BJP and the Congress have appointed their booth-level agents for 1106 polling stations out of the 2,142. The chief election officer of the state has called a meeting of all the DEOs on July 12 to discuss election preparedness with regard to staff, electoral rolls with respect to their revision, EPIC; sex ratio of voters etc,” Pandey said.
Deputy district election officer (DyDEO) of Rajkot, Mitesh Pandya said that around 1.50 lahk voters had already been added in the district since the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. “As of January 1, 2014, the total number of voters in Rajkot district were 18,73,494. This figure stood at 20,24,066 as of July 1, 2017. This shows an increase of 1,50,572 voters in the district in the last three-and-a-half year. This figure is likely to go up even further at the end of the roll revision exercise which will go on till July 31,” said Pandya.
Assembly election is due towards the end of this year and there are eight Assembly constituencies in the district. The number of total Assembly constituencies in the state is 182.
Besides the designated days, a person can approach BLO on any working day and submit his application for registration as a voter, any correction or transfer in election constituency. Alternatively, such applications can also be filed with officers of election branch in office of mamlatdars of respective talukas, Pandya further said adding the final election rolls of the 2017 Assembly elections will be published on September 25.
“There are 34,878 voters who are 80 years of age or older than that. Our teams will verify each of these voters in the district. The teams will also go door to door to ensure that no eligible person is left out who is willing to register as a voter. Team will also go to old age homes and inside prisons for helping people get themselves register as voters,” the collector said.
When asked about complaints of around 6,000 persons having been added as voters in Rajkot (east) constituency without due process recently, the collector said: “We have taken congnisance of the matter. We have formed a team under the leadership of (DyDEO). He will verify records submitted for getting enrolled as voters within a week and based on his report, we shall take further action,” said Pandey.
The DyDEO said that they will verify records of those who were included as new voters in the roll published on May 1 this year. “Usually, election commission undertakes roll revision exercise once every month. So, we shall check records the previous such exercise,” said Pandya.