BJP demands inclusion of legitimate Bru voters in Mizoram

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Aizawl, Nov 6 (UNI) The BJP in Mizoram today urged visiting Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami to direct the state election department to include the legitimate Bru voters in the state electoral rolls.

In its memorandum to the Election Commission, the BJP alleged that the state election office had not been successful regarding the inclusion of over 7,000 displaced Bru voters residing in six refugee camps in the Kanchanpur sub-division in Tripura.

The memorandum also criticised the state election department, stating that it was unable to carry out the process of identifying geniune Bru voters for the past 12 years since they fled Mizoram following ethnic conflicts in 1997.

The BJP has also sent 6,000 completed application forms (Form 6) to the Mamit district election office for immediate inclusion of the ''genuine'' Bru voters.

However, Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer Lalmalsawma maintained that all legitimate Bru voters had been included in the electoral rolls except those who had turned 18 as on January last.

The Bru refugees claimed that there were a good number of eligible voters among them who were yet to be included in the electoral rolls.

'' We asked them to submit their applications.

However, I am afraid there will be no more time to include them for the coming polls, '' Mr Lalmalsawma informed UNI.

The BJP further demanded the EC to set up polling stations inside the refugee camps.

The party alleged that the Bru voters were extremely inconvenienced during the 2003 polls as they were forced to travel over 100 km to various parts of Mizoram for exercising their franchise.

Moreover, they were scared off with bomb blasts, it said.

However, the allegations were refuted by the Chief Election Offier, saying there was one incident of low-intensity blast a few days before polls, but it did not hamper the casting of votes by the Brus.

UNI ZS SB DB SV DS1615

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