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Millennium Post

‘Name in voters’ list essential to cast your vote on February 7’

With less than three weeks to go for Delhi 2015 poll which is likely to be straight contest between AAP and BJP, Siddheshwar Shukla chats up with Chandra Bhushan Kumar about the preparations for the election scheduled for February 7.

Excerpts:

Questions are being raised by political parties about ‘fake voters’ in the voters’ list published by Delhi unit of the Election Commission recently.
There are mainly two issues here. First is image duplication and the second is voter’s having names in two voter lists in two different addresses. Applicants at times have used photograph of film stars in online applications, which have been identified and deleted. We are using re-duplication software and public feedback to weed them out and delete such names. A total of 1.20 lakh image duplication cases were detected before publishing revised voter list on January 5. Secondly when people change their addresses they should get their name deleted from the previous voter list before applying for the new one. There is penal provision against such voters but it is hardly used albeit ‘malafide’ intention’ is proved.
 
Who will be eligible to cast their votes on the day of polling?

The revised final voter list was published on January 21. All Delhi residents whose applications were received by January 11 will be included in the list after verification. They can cast votes even if they don’t have voter Identity cards as Election Commission permits some other identity cards to check their identity at polling booth. But the voter identity cards of the residents have no meaning if their names are not in the final voter list.
 
In this way some genuine voters may be left out even they have voter identity cards?

 Yes, it may be, but we can’t help. We did our best by creating awareness through various mediums to motivate the citizens to get enrolled into the voter list and cautioned them about the provisions. This is what we can do from our side.
 
In Delhi assembly elections- 2013, the polling had even continued till 8.30 pm at some polling stations. Are you issuing any directions to extend polling time?

We have 10 hour polling schedule from 8 am to 6 pm. As per the directions of Election Commission, the presiding officers are instructed to halt the poll process at 5.30 pm and asses the ground situation. If queues are too long they will distribute tokens starting from the last person in the queue and facilitate their voting. But normally 6 pm is the cut off for voters.
 
How will you deal with violations of model code of conduct? It has been the most controversial issue during polls?

For implementing the model code of conduct, cases can be registered under various sections of Indian Penal Code. We have so far registered over 100 FIRs since the announcement of the election. We have zero tolerance to defacement to property and enforcing it with full strength.
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