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Bengal electoral rolls released with massive deletion

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Kolkata, Feb 22 (UNI) The final electoral rolls in West Bengal were published today with the deletion of 1.3 million names, the highest in recent times, even as a clean-up drive for a flawless voters list continued under the Election Commission directive.

Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) Debasish Sen announced that the photo rolls for 46 out of the total 294 Assembly constituencies were also published for the first time in the country.

Despite the massive deletion, the size of the state's electorate, however, grew by 8.51 lakh at 489,51,000 from 4.81 crore with the inclusion of 21.5 lakh new voters as against a total deletion of 12.98 lakh names, the CEO said.

The increase in the number of voters was 1.76 per cent, he said.

Out of the total number of dropped names, 300,000 were removed from the rolls over the past one month in between the two rounds of visit by EC observers, who carried out an intensive physical verification of the rolls in the state's all the 19 districts.

The magnitude of deletion this time was three to four times more than that in the previous years. In 2005 the total deletion was 3.39 lakh while it was 3.47 lakh only in 2004, Mr Sen informed.

'' The deletion of so many names is the result of a joint initiative of the Election Commission and the state machinery to clean up the rolls, '' the CEO said.

Under the EC directive, the process of deletion and inclusion of names would continue till the date of filing nomination, Mr Sen said.

Accroding to the available figures, out of the 12.98 deleted names, 10.72 were removed following suo moto action by the EC observers.

The CEO said polling in Cooch Behar, South Dinajpur and Nadia and parts of Hooghly and West Dinajpur districts would be held on the basis of photo rolls. West Bengal is one of the first states, besides Kerala, where polling would be held on the basis of photo rolls.

The process of taking photographs of new voters would start from March through mobile photo vans, he said.

The finals rolls were announced after a gruelling process of special summary revision, marked by visits of EC observers between January ten and 16 and February two and eight to supervise the progress of rolls revision. On the basis of their reports after the first round of visit, the EC sent them for the second time to hasten the process of deleting names of huge number of dead, shifted and fake voters.

UNI KDG SJC RL RN2001

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