‘1.5 crore voters yet to be listed in Uttar Pradesh’

July 22nd, 2011 - 12:59 am ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, July 21 (IANS) As many as 15 million voters still remain to be listed in the electoral rolls of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi said here Thursday evening.

The figure was estimated on the basis of a standard population-voter ratio in Uttar Pradesh.

With a population of about 19.95 crores, Uttar Pradesh has 10.85 crore voters as per the latest count.

“The state’s election machinery has therefore begun to undertake a state-wide exercise for enrolment of all those who had attained the age of 18,” the CEC said ata press conference.

Quraishi, who was here on a two day visit along with other members of the Election Commission, met representatives of different political parties and also held lengthy meetings with key officials of the state.

“I made it a point to emphasise upon the bureaucrats to ensure absolute neutrality in their conduct,” he said, while referring to complaints about “politicisation of the state bureaucracy”.

He stressed, “neutrality is absolutely non negotiable and all bureaucrats must ensure 100 percent neutrality in their conduct at all stages of the election.”

Quraishi said, “We have also made it clear to the state government that all field officers posted in their home districts must be removed well before the elections; also officers having done more than three years stint on a particular assignment would have to be shifted.”

Even as he maintained, “It was too early to give any date for the assembly election in Uttar Pradesh” the chief election commissioner said, “some political parties have argued in favour of January and February, primarily for two reasons - the weather would get hot in the subsequent months of March and April, that was also the time for several competitive examinations.”

While praising the poll preparations in the state with as many as 1.28 lakh polling stations, he said, “If need be we will increase the number of polling stations in order to facilitate voters, wherever they have to go long distances to vote.”

While lamenting the absence of any law to keep criminals out of the election fray, he said, “We have been repeatedly trying to make top political leaders of all parties understand how important it was for them not to field people with criminal antecedents.”

He however hastened to add, “But we are definitely going to have a more effective system in place to curb the use of money power in the electoral process.”

He said, “We have also issued instructions down the line to take instant cognisance of media reports highlighting any irregularity in the election process, so that no time is wasted in taking action against the wrong doers.”

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