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Why purification of electoral rolls for Telangana elections was needed

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Hyderabad, Oct 29: The number of voters in Telangana ahead of the crucial assembly elections is down to 2.73 crore. In 2014, the number stood at 2.82 lakh.

The net deletions were about 22 lakh as 12 new voters were added to the final rolls published this month. Questioning this the Congress had approached the Supreme Court and the matter was finally referred to the Hyderabad High Court.

Why purification of electoral rolls for Telangana elections was needed

The Election Commission of India took up this huge exercise of purifying the electoral rolls in Telangana. Earlier the electoral roll used to be on paper and hence it had become impossible to find anomalies. Hence the EC decided to digitise the rolls, following which several discrepancies came to light.

Also Read | Telangana: CM Rao asks TRS candidates to have personal touch with electorate

The purification of the rolls is not a new exercise. It is being done since 2015. In Telangana several political parties had submitted their lists, following which it was sent for verification.

Purifying the rolls:

Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat said that the the poll body had used the latest technology to purify the electoral rolls during special revision.

The number of voters in Telangana have come down from 2.82 crore in 2014 to 2.73 crore as per the final rolls published this month. The net deletions were about 22 lakh as 12 lakh new voters were added. The poll body attributed this to voters with multiple entries, those who migrated and those who were dead.

The CEC, however, assured the political parties that the election authorities will look into their specific complaints through verification by Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) concerned in the presence of representatives of all political parties.

Even after publication of final rolls, the state election machinery continues to receive applications for updating the rolls. He said second supplement will be published on November 19 and all those included in it will be eligible to vote in December 7 elections to Telangana assembly.

Also Read | Telangana polls: EC to distribute voter slips, monitor inducements through mobile app

The CEC explained that the voters' list was brought on digital platform and they used de-duplication software and latest technology to find the deficiencies and correct them.

"This is a transition phase. Once EROnet becomes operational throughout the country and linked to registrar of births and deaths, all these problems will evaporate," he said.

"The Election Commission is committed to maintaining 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.

Also Read | Infographic: How Telangana voted in 2014

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

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

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