Bengal’s final electoral roll to be published on January 5

Kolkata, Dec 10 (IANS) The final electoral roll for the West Bengal assembly polls would be published on January 5 next year, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said here on Thursday.

“The Election Commission of India has directed the state election machinery to publish the final electoral roll on January 5, 2016. And this final roll would be displayed on our websites and all notice boards, and will be given to all political parties,” Zaidi told media persons after day-long parleys with political parties, police and administrative officials.

However, even after the final voters’ list was published, there would be scope for inclusion of fresh names.

“After publication of the final electoral rolls, there would be renewed focus on continuous updation, so that voters who have been left out can apply and get registered.”

He laid stress on including more woman and youth in the electoral rolls.

“We have directed the state and district level election officers that there should be special focus on bringing more and more women on our electoral rolls, particularly the youth.

“There are about 30 lakh youth in the state (West Bengal), in the 18-19 year category, as per the census. And we have asked our district electoral officers to ensure that maximum number of youths are enrolled on our electoral roll.”

He said the state election machinery has received 31 lakh applications for addition to the electoral roll. Twenty six lakh applications have already been accepted.

All those whose applications for enrolment in the voters’ list have been rejected on some valid grounds, would be given another chance to include their names in the list.

He said the state now has over 77 thousand polling stations, and the district electoral officers have been directed to undertake fresh rationalisation of polling stations after January 5.

“If there is a need, more polling stations would be added to our existing stock.”

Zaidi said 10 percent of the polling stations lacked electricity and permanent ramps for the physically challenged people.

“We have been assured by the chief secretary (Sanjay Mitra) and his team that in the the run up to the election, the state machinery will ensure that maximum number of polling stations are covered as far as electricity and permanent ramps are concerned.”

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