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No foolproof method to avoid errors in electoral rolls: CEO

Problems arising out of deletions in electoral rolls is inevitable as there is no foolproof measure against errors, Chief Electoral Officer Maharashtra Nitin Gadre said.

“The exercise of deletions was concluded in August 2013 and names of as many as 50 lakh people were deleted. Through lot of publicity, we gave time to people to correct mistakes if any in the voter rolls.

“CDs were given to all political parties and the deleted list was published on the website. Details of the proposed deletions were also circulated to political parties. There was no secrecy in the deletions,” Gadre said.

He was responding to criticism of incidents where several people from Pune found their names were missing from the voter lists and protests were staged outside the collector’s office.

After August 2013, 40 lakh new voters were added in the summary revision. “Another 16 lakh were added after January 31, 2014 including 6.8 lakh after March nine this year. Hence, a total of 56 lakh voters have been added which includes 23 lakh first time voters,” he said.

Gadre said in Pune, 6.22 lakh names were deleted out of which 1,400 complained that their names have been mistakenly deleted.

“The scrutiny of the names is in progress and the Election Commission of India will take an appropriate decision in this regard,” he said.

In Mumbai, he said 6.5 lakh names have been deleted during revision of electoral rolls. “So far, we have not received official complaints from citizens that their names have been mistakenly deleted,” Gadre said.

He said for the first time, a massive deletion exercise was undertaken last year. We agree it is not foolproof because about 60,000 people were in the exercise to scrutinise electoral roll of eight crore. A person might not be found in the residence during one or two visits of the officials, neighbours might not know and the person may turn up after two months,” he added.

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