EC ensuring voting rights for former enclave dwellers

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Kolkata, March 9 (IANS) The Election Commission has started the process of ensuring voting rights to over 14,000 residents of the erstwhile Indo-Bangladesh enclaves, who have acquired Indian citizenship following the historic enclave swap last year, an official said here on Wednesday.

The Commission was on March 4 vested with powers to carry out a delimitation exercise in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district to put them in various assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies.

“As many as 14,864 people are living in 51 enclaves acquired by India have selected Indian citizenship,” additional chief electoral officer Dibyendu Sarkar told the media here, adding a draft notification was issued during the day.

“Five assembly constituencies (Mekhliganj, Sitalkuchi, Sitai, Dinhata and Tufanganj) and three Lok Sabha constituencies (Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar) will be delimited to include the new enclaves,” he said.

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Due to the delimitation exercise, Cooch Behar has been placed in the last phase of Assembly polls to be held on May 5. The six phase polls commence on April 4.

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