Agartala, Aug 25 (IANS) The Election Commission has asked chief electoral officers (CEOs) of all states and union territories to involve Booth Level Agents (BLAs) of political parties more extensively in the special summary revision of photo electoral rolls across the country, an official said here on Friday.
The Election Commission in its August 23 letter to all CEOs of 27 states, excluding election-bound Gujarat and Himchal Pradesh, and seven union territories has directed them to conduct special summary revisions of the photo electoral rolls with January 1, 2018, as qualifying date of age.
“The Commission has asked to involve the BLAs more extensively in doing the special summary revisions of the photo-affixed voters’ list. Only the BLAs of national political parties would be involved in the process,” a Tripura Election Department official said.
Currently, India has seven national parties — the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Trinamool Congress.
The poll panel in its letter said that CEOs would ask the recognised national political parties to identify and appoint one BLA in each polling station to involve them in the campaign.
The BLAs along with the poll panel’s Booth Level Officers (BLO) would go through the draft electoral rolls and identify the suitable corrections.
“With a view to ensure more involvement of political parties, the Commission has allowed BLAs of recognised political parties to file applications in bulk, subject to the condition that a BLA shall not submit more than 10 application in prescribed form to BLO at one time or in one day,” the EC’s letter said.
“If a BLA files more than 30 applications during entire period of filing claims and objections, then cross verification must be done by electoral registration officers themselves.”
The official said that as per the Election Commission schedule, West Bengal is the first state that published the draft electoral rolls on August 22 followed by Tripura on August 24.
The others would publish the draft electoral rolls in September, October and November keeping in mind the local conditions and the final electoral rolls of all states and union territories would be published by the second week of January 2018.
The official also said that Gram Sabhas would be held in all villages, and similar public gatherings in municipal council or corporation areas, to make people aware about the special summary revisions.
Stressing at least two Gram Sabhas must be held in each Gram Panchayat area during the revision process, he said that that the Commission wants an error-free voters’ list, including all eligible people in the electoral rolls. “In the Gram Sabha, existing rolls (draft rolls) would be read out and appropriate steps would be taken on the spot.”
The dates of the Gram Sabha would be fixed by the Election Commission in consultations with the states concerned or election authorities.
In Tripura, the draft electoral rolls were published on Thursday.
Currently Tripura has 2,505,997 voters, of them 1,230,628 females.
“In each summary revision of electoral rolls two to three per cent voters were increased. This is an all India phenomenon. However, during election year, the increase is slightly more,” the official added.
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