EC to liberalise enrolment dates for 17-yr-olds: CEO Vikas Raj

Hyderabad: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Vikas Raj while apprising the parties of the Election Commission of India said that it is making efforts to liberalise enrolment dates for youngsters aged 17, to expand the voter base.

The CEO of the commission held a meeting with the representatives of various parties including BJP, TDP, Congress, CPI (M) and AIMIM, to make them aware of steps taken by EC to conduct free and fair elections.

“The EC had informed that there were currently 4 lakh pending forms, including Forms 6,7, and 8 and that there was a need to clear it,” he said.

Vikas Raj further sensitised the political parties about various activities undertaken by the Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) and the importance of Booth Level Agents (BLAs) in ensuring fair and transparent elections.

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“Instructions have been issued to EROs on safeguards against deletions, including photo similar entries, and the need for vigilance against logical errors detected at the data entry level,” added Vikas.

Vikas also urged the party leaders to increase the number of BLAs as there were only 1785 BLAs as against 34,891 polling stations in Telangana.

“Also, the commission will promote voter participation among transgender individuals and other marginalised sections like tribals,” said the commission’s CEO.

However, political parties, especially from the opposition fumed over errors in the voters’ lists and polling booths, claiming that Electoral Photo ID Cards (EPIC) were issued on open plots in Serilingampally.

The party representatives then requested the CEO for transparency on the IT initiatives of EC.

They further asked for awareness workshops for voters on their roles and responsibilities keeping in view the upcoming general elections.