Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Just 58% in CPM-ruled state can vote

Just 58 pc in Bengal can vote
Express news serviceThu, Mar 27 04:13 AM

If the Election Commission's figures are to be believed, just 58 per cent of West Bengal's population has voting rights, nine per cent below the national average of 67 per cent.

Chief Electoral Officer Debasis Sen said: "In fact, the EC cannot interpret this data. I have asked local authorities to check if the computation has gone wrong anywhere." EC sources said their men were trying to single out booths where there could be discrepancies.

An official of the State Election Commission said nearly 48 lakh eligible people in West Bengal had no voting rights. He said, "The total figure will rise to 5.52 crore if the electoral rolls are properly revised."

The Opposition has for long alleged that CPI(M) cadres had forcibly kept away those supporting other parties from the electoral rolls. "We have said this before. If the electoral rolls had presented a true picture of the state's voters, then election results would have been different," claimed Leader of the Opposition Partha Chatterjee.

Another reason for the low voter strength could be the fact that it has become tougher for Bangladeshi infiltrators to enroll themselves.

On the Opposition's allegations, Sen said, "I have provided you with hard data. Now it is up to you to interpret it. I can only revise the list."

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