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Bengal registers highest number of first-time voters

Bengal registers highest number of first-time voters

Kolkata: Bengal has the highest number of electors in 18-19 years age group in terms of names registered in 2019 electoral rolls of the Election Commission of India before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Murshidabad with more than 2 lakh inclusion records the highest registration of teen voters in the state followed by South and North 24-Parganas and Nadia.

Kolkata with only 40,668 is one of the lowest in the registration of teen voters with only smaller districts like Alipurduar, Jhargram, Kalimpong and Darjeeling having teen voters lower than the state capital.

As per the records available with the Commission, Murshidabad with 2,39,622 teen voters is the highest in the state.

It is closely followed by South 24-Parganas with 2,16,430 electors, North 24-Parganas with 18,6291 and Nadia with 1,24,691.

The number of young voters in three other districts is also reasonably high with more than one lakh teen voters registered in the final electoral roll.

West Midnapore has 1,13,227, East Midnapore 1,07,573 while East Burdwan has 1,05,256 such voters.

The latest data available with the Election Commission shows that Bengal with 20,67,303 records the highest number of electors in 18-19 age group in the 2019 rolls. It is closely followed by Rajasthan (20.3 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (16.76 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (13.6 lakh) and Maharashtra (11.99 lakh). The electoral rolls published as part of summary revision since 2016 show that Bengal has added the largest number of newly-eligible voters (79 lakh) — the highest in the country.

Among the 40,668 teen voters in Kolkata, South Kolkata has a contribution of just 15,447 while North Kolkata accounts for 25,121. Smaller districts like newly formed Jhargram has 25,548, Alipurduar has 38,001, Darjeeling 32,867 while Kalimpong has 6,950 teen voters.

The Commission is mulling an all-out campaigning and door-to-door approach to attract the young voters of the city with the meagre registration from Kolkata.

"My name has just appeared in the electoral roll. I have seen all my family members going to the booth to cast their vote and I always wanted to go. I am thrilled with the opportunity to exercise my franchise for the first time," said Saptak Ghosh, a student of Calcutta University who is a first-time voter from Diamond Harbour.

A more matured response came from Sinjini Pal, a first-year student of International Relations of Jadavpur University. "Casting my vote is about the representation of our generation in the democratic process. There should be a proper representation of our generation so that our voices are heard," Pal said.

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