Thursday, February 29, 2024

All-party panel for 6-month stay rule

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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The all-party committee, constituted to ease the standoff between the government and NGOs on enrolment of “dubious” voters, has expressed reservation over the new guidelines of the Election Commission of India and favoured reverting back to some old methods to ensure that dubious voters do not find place in the voters’ list.

In a significant recommendation, the committee mooted that a person who comes from outside the state should stay in Meghalaya for at least six months to stake his or her claim for entry into the voters’ list.

Informing this here on Tuesday, the chairman of committee Bindo M Lanong told reporters that the committee also recommended that ordinarily citizens who wish to shift themselves from one state to another State or from one constituency to another will have to submit deletion certificate issued by competent authority to prove that he or she is no longer a voter of his previous place of stay or constituency.

This suggestion is in deviation from the present guideline of the Election Commission which says that it is the duty of electoral registration officers to delete the names of dual voters.

“We have decided to recommend for doing away with of the facilitation cells. We have also unanimously agreed to recommend that the bulk submission of forms should be stopped,” Lanong said after a meeting of the committee.

While reviewing the EC guidelines, the committee chairman said the members have felt that all possible measures should be taken to ensure that no illegal migrant and person with doubtful origin get enrolled in the electoral rolls.

Lanong said verification of identity of persons who apply for registration should be done by the election machinery or by the district administration , municipal authorities and also by the traditional institutions and the identification should be based on birth certificates , baptism certificates and school certificates among others .

Stating the voters’ lists in the State are being prepared by following different procedures like interim revision, summary revision and continuous updation, he said the committee felt that this various revision of the electoral is more than sufficient for people to get enrolled themselves in the poll rolls.

He said all the genuine citizens of India who have attained 18 years of age should be eligible for registration in the electoral rolls.

He said that the committee has come up with several suggestions after studying the various relevant Acts like the Citizens Act, 1955, Registration of Electoral Rules, 1960 and Representation of People’s Act, 1950.

It may be mentioned that all members of the committee representing various political parties attended the meeting.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting include MPCC president DD Lapang, UDP president Dr Donkupar Roy and leader of Opposition Conrad K Sangma.

The Committee is likely to submit its recommendations to the state government on Wednesday or a day after.

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