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Record applicants for poll roll revision

The application rush has come at a time when the country has been witnessing widespread protests against CAA and NRC

By Our Special Correspondent in Calcutta

  • Published 19.01.20, 3:25 AM
  • Updated 19.01.20, 3:25 AM
A view of Election Commission of India office, in New Delhi, Monday, May 6, 2019.
A view of Election Commission of India office, in New Delhi, Monday, May 6, 2019. (PTI)

The Election Commission of India received nearly 70 lakh applications for correction, inclusion and deletion of names in Bengal when it undertook a special revision of the electoral roll between December 16 and January 15, sources said.

The number of applications is the highest ever, the sources said. The application rush has come at a time when the country has been witnessing widespread protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the NRC.

“Based on the reports sent from all the districts, it appears that the number of people who responded to the drive for rectification of names in voter cards, inclusion of new voters and deletion of names of dead or voters who have relocated is around 70 lakh. This is the highest so far. In 2010, the ECI had received more than 40 lakh applications,” a bureaucrat said.

The sources said around 40 lakh people had applied for corrections in name spellings this time.

More than 26 lakh applications have been received across the state for inclusion of names in the voter list, according to the sources. Another 3 lakh applications had been submitted to delete names from the list.

The sources said the numbers reflected the fear among people over the new citizenship regime, including the possibility of an NRC exercise in Bengal.

“The large-scale protests against the NRC and the CAA were suggestive of the fear among people. The number of applicants at the electoral roll revision drive only confirms the fear,” an official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that no discussion had been held to implement the NRC across the country had not done much to soothe the nerves of people, the sources said.

The district magistrates have been instructed to be careful in dealing with applications seeking deletion of names from the voter list, considering the panic across the state.

“The booth-level officers will complete the hearing of all applications by January 27. In case of applications requesting deletion of names, the district authorities will send teams to verify their authenticity,” a source said.

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