Latest tech used to purify electoral rolls

Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat. PTI/FILE

Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat on Wednesday attributed the deletion in the number of voters to the latest technology used to purify the electoral rolls.

Rawat was addressing a news conference at the end of his three-day visit to Telangana, along with other election commissioners and top officials, to assess the state's poll preparedness.

According to the revised list, the number of voters in Telangana have actually come down from 2.82 crore in 2014 to 2.73 crore now. The net deletion was about 22 lakh as 12 lakh new voters were added.

The poll panel said the reduction is the direct result of deletion of voters with multiple entries, as well as those who migrated and those who died.

The CEC allayed the fears of the political parties that the election authorities will look into specific complaints through the verification conducted on the ground by the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) concerned.

He said the second supplement will be published on November 19 and all those included in it will be eligible to cast their votes in the December 7 elections to the state Assembly.

The Congress had last month approached the Supreme Court over the deletion of a large number of voters and had flagged its concern during a meeting with the Election Commission team headed by the CEC on Monday.

The CEC explained that the voter list was brought to a digital platform and they used the 'de-duplication' software and other technology to find the deficiencies and correct them. The CEC said that once the 'EROnet' software becomes operational throughout the country and linked to the birth and death registry, all problems will solved.

"The Election Commission is committed to maintain the purity of elections and to deliver free, fair and transparent elections. It has directed the state- and district-level election machinery to be fearless, unbiased, neutral and independent from any influence whatsoever," he said.

Rawat said the political parties had voiced their apprehension over the large-scale abuse of money; distribution of freebies and liquor; and the misuse of social media and fake media.

The EC team took note of the concerns and suggestions of the parties and assured that it will put in place an effective mechanism to ensure the smooth conduct of the entire poll process in a free, fair and inclusive manner.

According to the final electoral rolls published on October 12, Telangana has 2.73 crore voters, of which 1.38 crore are male, 1.35 crore female and 2,663 of the third gender.

The state has 119 Assembly constituencies, including 19 reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 12 for Scheduled Tribes. EVMs with VVPATs will be used in all 32,574 polling stations.

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Latest tech used to purify electoral rolls

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