Imphal, August 30:
CEO, Manipur met with representatives of recognised political parties today at the Conference Hall of the Office of Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur at Lamphelpat, Imphal. The meeting was attended by the representatives of 10 (Ten) recognised National/State political parties, All India Trinamool Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Janata Dal (United), Indian National Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, National Peoples Party, Naga Peoples Front and Peoples Democratic Alliance.
CEO, Manipur Rajesh Agrawal highlighted that, as per the recommendation of Election Commission of India, the Ministry of Law & Justice has amended the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The amendment covers the aspects of multiple qualifying dates for registration in the electoral roll, furnishing of Aadhaar number by the existing electors and citizens seeking registration in the electoral roll, gender neutral provisions for service electors and special electors and power to acquire premises for the conduct of elections, he added.
CEO Manipur apprised the representatives of political parties that there will be four qualifying dates i.e., 1st January, 1st April, 1st July and 1st October as eligibility for youngsters to register in electoral rolls as opposed to the earlier single qualifying date of 1st January only. Now, 17+ year old youngsters can apply in advance for having their names enrolled in voter’s list and not necessarily have to await the pre-requisite criterion of attaining age of 18 years on 1st January of a year.
With multiple qualifying dates, the time lag for registration in the electoral roll after being eligible, has been reduced thereby enabling a large number of eligible electors to get themselves registered in the electoral roll, he added. He also highlighted that henceforth, the Electoral Rolls will be updated every quarter.
While highlighting the amendments made in various Forms, Shri Rajesh Agrawal informed that Form 6 shall be used only for fresh registration, Form 7 to be used for objection to proposed inclusion or deletion of a person from the electoral roll or self deletion. Form 8 shall be used for Correction of particulars, Shifting of residence, Marking of PwD and Replacement of EPIC. He also informed that Form 8A which was earlier used for transposition of electors has been discontinued.
CEO, Manipur also apprised that the Election Commission of India has launched a nationwide programme on August 1 for collection of Aadhaar from the electors with the objective of establishing the identity of electors and authentication of entries in electoral roll which will eventually help in identifying registration of name of the same person in more than one constituency or more than once in the same constituency. He informed that that the collection of Aadhaar numbers in Form 6B may be done online by the electors themselves or through offline. An elector may fill Form 6B online through www.nvsp.in or www.voterportal.eci.gov.in or Voter Helpline App. In offline mode, the BLOs are currently making House-to-House visit for collection of Aadhaar number from electors in hard copy using Form 6B. All the off-line submitted Form 6B shall be digitised by BLOs using GARUDA App or by ERO using ERONET, within 7 days of the receipt of the Forms. In case, the elector does not have the Aadhaar number and thereby is not able to furnish Aadhaar Number, he/she needs to submit a copy of any of the eleven alternative documents viz. MGNREGA Job Card, Passbook with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour, Driving License, PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, Indian Passport, Pension document with photograph, Service Identity card with photograph issued to employees by Central/State/Govt/PSUs/Public Limited Companies, Official Identities Card issued to MPS/MLAs/MLCs, and Unique Identity ID(UDID) Card issued by M/o Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
CEO, Manipur also placed before the meeting that the response of the electors for furnishing of Aadhaar data in the State of Manipur is very encouraging and satisfactory particularly in valley districts. Till date, Bishnupur district topped the list with 86.71% of electors furnishing their Aadhaar data. The list is followed by Jiribam (83.39%), Thoubal (64.59%) Kangpokpi (58.92%), Imphal East (53.12%), Imphal West (50.17%), Churachandpur (40.93%), Tamenglong (39.44%), Ukhrul (32.24%), Senapati (19.28%) and Chandel (17.80%). Shri Rajesh Agrawal sought cooperation of the political parties in terms of dissemination of information and to convince the electors in furnishing their Aadhaar data. He also stated that the privacy of data of the electors shall be maintained.
With respect to gender neutral provision for Service and Special Electors, Shri Rajesh Agrawal highlighted that the word “wife” has been substituted by the word “spouse” in relevant sections of Representation of People Act, 1950 and Representation of People Act, 1951. Accordingly, the husband of a female service personnel can now register as service elector along with his wife. Earlier, only the wife of a male service personnel was allowed to register as service elector along with her husband.
While stating that the ambit of requisitioning power of Election Authorities has been enlarged, he informed that Section 160 of Representation of People Act, 1951 has been amended to the extent that the election authorities are empowered to requisition any premises likely to be needed for the purpose of being used as polling station, for counting, for storage of ballot boxes, voting machines (including voter verifiable paper audit trail) and poll related material after a poll has been taken, accommodation for security forces and polling personnel after the issuance of the election notification by the Election Commission under Section 30 of RPA, 1951.
CEO, Manipur highlighted that the Special Summary of Photo Electoral Rolls with respect to 01.01.2023 shall begin with publication of Integrated Draft Photo Electoral Rolls on 9th November, 2022. The period for filing claims & objections is from 09.11.2022 to 08.12.2022 and the final electoral rolls will be published on 5th January, 2023. Currently, as a pre-revision activity, the exercise for rationalization of polling stations is being undertaken by the District Election Officers. CEO, Manipur emphasized upon amalgamation of polling stations rather than creation of new polling stations to save cost at the time of elections. He also requested the political parties to give inputs to the concerned DEOs so that appropriate polling stations are set up to enable voters to experience voting in much better manner. He also sought cooperation of the political parties in deletion of death and shifted electors which are currently undertaken by the Electoral Registration Officers as a pre-revision activity.