The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday sent the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2016 to the President for his assent to empower the residents of Chitmahal in Coochbehar to exercise franchise.
Earlier, the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill. After the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh, the residents of the enclaves have become Indian citizens and will get the voting rights following the amendment.It was learnt that once the Bill gets the assent from the President, the Election Commission will announce the dates for holding the Assembly polls in West Bengal. It was further learnt that the electoral roll of the residents of enclaves were not yet ready and in all likelihood votes in Coochbehar will be held in the last phase to facilitate the Commission to finalize the list.
The meeting of the full Bench of the Election Commission will be held between March 7 and 10.
The Election Commission is sending 200 companies of Central forces to conduct peaceful election in the state. Congress leaders who went to see the Chief Election Commissioner requested him to follow the measures that had been taken to conduct polls in Bihar.
The leaders had alleged that law and order situation had deteriorated in West Bengal and stringent measures should be followed to conduct peaceful polls. The Central Forces personnel have reached the districts and had conducted a route march to earn the confidence of people. This year the slogan of EC is “Vote freely and after consideration.”
The EC has emphasised a massive awareness campaign to ensure that peaceful election is held in the state. If the voters face any trouble they can inform EC by downloading Subhidha app. Polling in the state will start from the third week of April and will continue till the second week of May.