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Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 03 September: THE electoral authorities in West Bengal have started the annual summary revision of voters’ list wherein they are now accepting applications for enrollment of new voters who will turn 18-years on 1 January 2016.

But unlike the previous years when the period to apply for enrollment used to be 30 days; the duration this time has been slashed almost by half to 18 days.

The revision exercise that officially commenced with the publication of a draft voters’ list on 01 September will continue until 18 September, that is, just another 16 days from now. Both in 2013 and 2014, the revision period in Bengal was 30 days from 1 October – 30 October.

Asked why the application period has been slashed this time, the Bengal state chief electoral officer (CEO) Sunil Kumar Gupta said that they had to do so keeping in mind the festive season beginning in Bengal with the Durga Puja on 18 October.

“A large section of officials who carry out the revision of voters’ list tends to opt for pre-Puja or post-Puja leave and this makes it tough to complete the task smoothly as the exercise is mainly undertaken at the district level. To avoid this, we had proposed to advance the revision exercise by a few weeks and the Election Commission of India (ECI) obliged,” Mr Gupta said.

“Once the applications are received, there are a whole lot of tasks such as field inquiry, document verification and hearing etc. Thus, we reduced the application deadline to 18 days so to complete these tasks before the festive season kicks off,” he explained.

During an all-party meeting convened by Mr Gupta on 20 August, all the political parties had unanimously requested for keeping the revision period to 30 days like in the previous years. Mr Gupta says, he had instantly forwarded the suggestion to the ECI but was yet to get a reply.

“If the ECI agrees to extend the period, we will readily implement that. But for now, we are keeping to the 18-days application deadline,” he said.

Other than West Bengal, Tripura is the only other state where the voters’ list revision period is 18 days this year and the dates too are same. In Uttarakhand it is 20 days, in Gujarat 26 days, in UP and Kerala 28 days and in the rest parts of the country, it 30 days as usual.

While West Bengal and Tripura will publish the revised final voters’ list on 05 January 2016, the other states will publish it on dates ranging between 10 January and 16 January. ECI mandates that the final voters’ list should be published by 25 January, which is celebrated as the National Voters’ Day across India.

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:

  1. Those willing to get his / her name included in the voters’ list or transfer name from one Assembly segment to another shall have to apply in Form 6.
  2. A person living overseas but having an Indian passport will have to apply in Form 6A for inclusion of name in voters’ list.  
  3. To modify or correction of an existing name, application is needed to be submitted in Form 8.
  4. To transfer name from one polling booth to another in the same Assembly segment, application shall have to be filed in Form 8A.
  5. To record objection as regards fake or fictitious names in the draft voters list, one shall have to apply in Form 7.

These forms are available free to download on www.ceowestbengal.nic.in and one can submit a filled up form to the polling both nearest to one’s residence during working hours until 18 September.

The CEO’s office is running a toll free help line 1950, to assist people with all sorts of queries as regards voters’ list and voter card.

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