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Mission to clean up electoral rolls in Northeast

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Agartala, April 26: To ensure clean electoral lists and elimite error and duplication of mes, India’s northeastern states will intensify the drive to purify the voters’ lists in eight states, a top official said.

“To clean the electoral lists, the Aadhaar number and other contact details seeding NERPAP (tiol Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme) has been launched countrywide and it would continue till August 15,” Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sanjay Kumar Rakesh told IANS.

He said “To intensify the implementation of NERPAP, the chief electoral officers (CEOs) of eight northeastern states would meet in Shillong (Meghalaya) on April 29. A time-bound programme would be chalked out to execute the NERPAP without any hitches.”

The official said that all the three deputy election commissioners of the Election Commission — Vinod Zutshi, Sudhir Tripathi and Umesh Sinha - would attend Wednesday’s important meeting to give tips to the election officials of the region about implementing the new scheme.

Over 28 percent of northeast India’s 45.58 million population consists of tribals who are not familiar with the electronic and on-line systems.

“A section of tribals influenced by superstition are also reluctant to get enrolled with the ‘Aadhaar’numbers. They believe that if they get the 12-digit Aadhaar number they would be equated with the beast,” sociologist Sujan Banik told IANS.

Except Tripura and Sikkim, the enrolment performances in other northeastern states are very poor.

According to an official report, Meghalaya is at the bottom in terms of availing Aadhaar numbers. The percentage of Aadhaar cards released in Meghalaya is 0.7 percent followed by Assam (0.08 percent), Aruchal Pradesh (12.2 percent), Mizoram (26.2 percent), Manipur (41.2 percent) and galand (43.2 percent).

Sikkim registered 94 percent Aadhaar enrolment and Tripura 95 percent, the highest in the northeastern states.

About 500 million of India’s 850 million voters have Aadhaar numbers and the rest are expected to get them before this year-end.

Rakesh said “NERPAP was launched in most parts of the country on March 3. It was started in Tripura on April 1 through a door-to-door campaign. After completion of the programme, duplication of mes of electors in the electoral list would be almost zero.”

According to Election Commission statistics, 85 million mes on India’s electoral rolls are either fake or duplicate.

Rakesh said that under the Representation of People’s Act, getting registered in the voters’ list at more than one place is a punishable offence.

“To make NERPAP successful, special camps once a month on a Sunday, door-to-door campaign and various other types of publicity would be conducted to make the people aware and to participate in the programme,” he added.

The booth-level officers would go to each household to distribute the form and to collect the information about the electors.

About the Supreme Court’s direction not to make ‘Aadhaar’ number mandatory in providing government facilities, the official said it would not be a compulsion until all the citizens get the 12-digit Aadhaar numbers.

“After ‘Aadhaar’ number and other contact details are incorporated with the electoral lists, pan India facilities with all relevant information about a voter would be at the fingertips from any part of the country and abroad,” the election official said adding that with the implementation of the NERPAP, election magement would be further modernised. (IANS)

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