Manipur CEO Rajesh Agrawal on Tuesday briefed the representatives of 10 recognised political parties on the recently amended Representation of the People Act, 1950 and the Representation of the People Act, 1951 at its office in Lamphelpat, Imphal West.
The political parties are AITC, BJP, CPI, CPI (M), JD-U, INC, NCP, NPP NPF and PDA, CEO Manipur stated in a release.
The CEO stated that 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.
Regarding the multiple qualifying dates, the CEO informed the representatives that there will be four qualifying dates (January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1) as eligibility for youngsters to register in electoral rolls as opposed to the earlier single qualifying date of January 1 only, the CEO stated.
He further informed that the youngsters above 17 years can now 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 January 1 of a year.
Regarding the furnishing of Aadhaar by electors, it said that the CEO maintained that the ECI 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.
The CEO added that such will eventually help in identifying registration of names of the same person in more than one constituency or more than once in the same constituency.
The release also mentioned that the CEO placed before the meeting that the response of the electors for furnishing of Aadhaar data in the state is very encouraging and satisfactory particularly in valley districts.
As informed by the CEO, Bishnupur district topped the list with 86.71 per cent of electors furnishing their Aadhaar data, it said that the list is followed by Jiribam (83.39 per cent), Thoubal (64.59 per cent) Kangpokpi (58.92 per cent), Imphal East (53.12 per cent), Imphal West (50.17 per cent), Churachandpur (40.93 per cent), Tamenglong (39.44 per cent), Ukhrul (32.24 per cent), Senapati (19.28 per cent) and Chandel (17.80 per cent).
The CEO further sought cooperation from all the political parties in terms of dissemination of information and to convince the electors in furnishing their Aadhaar data and stated that the privacy of data of the electors shall be maintained.
Regarding the gender-neutral provision for service and special Electors, Rajesh informed that the word “wife” has been replaced by “spouse” and accordingly the husband of a female service personnel can now register as service elector along with his wife, it stated.
It said, talking on the power to requisition premises for the purpose of conduct of elections, the CEO elaborated 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 ECI.
The release further mentioned, the CEO also highlighted that the Special Summary of Photo Electoral Rolls with respect to January 1, 2023 will begin with publication of Integrated Draft Photo Electoral Rolls from November 9.
He added that the period for filing claims and objections will be from November 9, 2022 to December 8, 2022 and the final electoral rolls will be published on January 5, 2023, it said.
The CEO 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 a much better manner, it said.
The release added that the CEO also sought the 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.