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Voter list verification to be completed today

Special Correspondent

Three teams to check the quality of work of officials


  • Signatures did not match
  • No proof of residence
  • Mix-up of old and new door numbers
  • Rethink on role of postman for verification

    CUDDALORE: Verification of the petitions for inclusion in the electoral rolls is being undertaken to ensure that the genuine voters were not left out and the final lists flawless, said Tapas Kumar, Secretary, Chief Election Commission, New Delhi.

    After having elaborate discussions on the modalities of the verification with the officials at the Collector's camp office here on Saturday, Mr Tapas Kumar told presspersons that three teams were touring Tamil Nadu to check the quality of work done by the officials and to confirm that all the guidelines issued by the Election Commission were scrupulously followed.

    No lapses

    He denied any lapses on the part of the officials and expressed satisfaction over the progress of the work.

    The verification exercise would be completed on July 31, and then the final lists would be prepared.

    Mr Tapas Kumar said three lacunae were noticed in several petitions: i.e., signatures did not match, and there were no proof for either the residential address or the age of the prospective voters.

    Authenticity verified

    During verification it was found that certain applicants had become nervous and as a result there was minor deviation in the way they affixed their signatures.

    The officials' visit to the residences unnerved them. However, after having satisfied with the authenticity of the petitioners, their applications were ratified.

    The Secretary said the problem of the invalid petitions was not a new feature, as it existed during the previous election too.

    When the door numbers were changed in Chennai, there was mix-up of the old and new numbers, and it led to erratic deletion of voters.

    Bulk petition

    Referring to the "bulk petition phenomenon," Mr Tapas Kumar said the Election Commission had allowed the political parties to submit the petitions along with an affidavit.

    However, some lower party functionaries seemed to have failed in managing this properly.

    Postman's role

    Based on the experience gained from the present verification, will the Election Commission change the procedure for accepting the petitions in future?

    Mr Tapas Kumar said this would be under consideration. However, he said it had come to notice that the postmen entrusted with the task of verification had not done well.

    Hence, the Election Commission had to rethink on their deployment on a similar job in future and this would be examined, he said.

    Petitions in bulk

    The Cuddalore Collector, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, said as for the enrolment of new voters, the district had received 94,480 petitions of which 26,196 were accepted. Hardly 1,264 petitions were received in bulk, Mr Bedi added.

    Electoral Registration Officers such as the Sub-Collector of Chidambaram Rajendra Ratnoo (Chidambaram, Bhuvanagiri and Kattumannarkoil constituencies), Revenue Divisional Officers Prabhakar (Cudalore, Nellikuppam, Panruti and Kurinjipadi) and John Louis (Mangalore and Vriddhachalam), Municipal Commissioners, and Tahsildars attended the review meeting.

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