‘D’ voters apart, voters’ list in Kamrup (M) is exhaustive, all-inclusive

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‘D’ voters apart, voters’ list in Kamrup (M) is exhaustive, all-inclusive

Mrinmoyee Hazarika | April 20, 2019 16:08 hrs

GUWAHATI: The names of all eligible voters, except the ones with the tag “D” are included in the final voters’ list released by the Election Commission ahead of this general election, asserted the Kamrup (M) district administration.
 
However, some people, who are not “D” voters, from the Gauhati LS constituency may not be able to cast their votes in this election, as their names have not figured in the final voters’ list for reasons unknown to them.

One such person, who did not wished to be named, said that he has been casting his vote in the same centre under the Gauhati LS constituency for a long time. But, this time he did not find his name in the voters’ list.

“I was surprised when I did not find my name in the voters’ list. I am not a ‘D’ voter; I have never transferred my vote from one place to another. Then, why has my name been deleted from the list without any reason?

“I have contacted the concerned officials in the district administration. But, they said that they could look into the matter only after the election, which means I will not be able to vote this time,” said the person.

While it is still unclear whether the person will be able to exercise his franchise in this election or not, the Kamrup (M) district administration is fully confident of the job they are doing.

Speaking to G Plus, Jimlee Saikia Kakoty, election officer, Kamrup (M) said, “The district administration has received very few complaints regarding non-inclusion of names in the voters’ list.

“The possibility of excluding the names of eligible and genuine voters from the voters’ list is almost nil. We had organized various camps to help people enlist their names in the list in case their names were left out due to some technical issues. 

“But, now that process is closed, we can look into such complaints only after the election. Everybody, except the ‘D’ voters, will be able to vote.”  

The “D” voters or “doubtful” voters are one of the many outcomes of Assam movement led by All Assam Students’ Union against illegal immigrants mainly in 1979. 

The process of identifying “D” voters began in 1997 when the Election Commission had ordered the revision of electoral rolls to put the letter “D” against the names of those voters who does not have proper citizenship credentials. 

Since then, “D” voters have been barred from exercising their franchise until they prove their nationality. 

Those voters have also failed to make it to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which is currently being updated in Assam under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court of India. The state government published the draft NRC on 30th July last year and is expected to publish the final NRC by 30th June this year.  

However, reports have come that the names of people who failed to get their names included in the draft NRC were “excluded” from the voters’ list.

Biswajit Pegu, DC, Kamrup (M), who is also the district election officer, told G Plus, “No names were deleted from the voters’ list on the basis of the draft NRC.

“NRC and voters’ list are two different issues and right now we cannot comment on NRC, as the matter is still subjudice.

“People whose names are already there in the voters’ list and who are not ‘D’ voters can exercise their franchise in the election.”

As per the final voters’ list published by the Election Commission on 6th February 2019, there are 4,140 “D” voters in Kamrup (M), who fall under Gauhati LS constituency.

Until the time of publishing the draft voters’ list on 18th October 2018, the district had 4,281 “D” voters, of whom 141 voters were able to prove their nationality and were set to vote this election.

According to Assam Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mukesh Sahu, the state currently has approximately 1.2 lakh “D” voters.

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