Imphal: Chief Electoral Officer Manipur met with representatives of recognised political parties here on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of 10 recognised National/State political parties namely, All India Trinamool Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Janata Dal (United), Indian National Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, National People’s Party, Naga People’s Front and Peoples Democratic Alliance.
CEO, Manipur Rajesh Agrawal highlighted that, as per the recommendation of the Election Commission of India, the Ministry of Law & Justice has amended the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
The amendment covers aspects of multiple qualifying dates for registration in the electoral roll, furnishing of Aadhaar number by the existing electors and citizens seeking registration in the electoral roll, gender-neutral provisions for service electors and special electors and power to acquire premises for the conduct of elections, he added.
The CEO apprised the parties that there will be four qualifying dates i.e., 1st January, 1st April, 1st July and 1st October as eligibility for youngsters to register in electoral rolls as opposed to the earlier single qualifying date of 1st January only. Now, 17+ year old youngsters can apply in advance for having their names enrolled in voter’s list and not necessarily have to await the pre-requisite criterion of attaining age of 18 years on 1 st January of a year.
Rajesh Agrawal informed that Form 6 shall be used only for fresh registration, Form 7 to be used for objection to proposed inclusion or deletion of a person from the electoral roll or self-deletion. Form 8 shall be used for Correction of particulars, shifting of residence, Marking of PwD and Replacement of EPIC.
He also informed that Form 8A which was earlier used for the transposition of electors has been discontinued. Furnishing of Aadhaar by electors CEO, Manipur also apprised that the Election Commission of India has launched a nationwide programme on August 1, 2022 for collection of Aadhaar from the electors with the objective of establishing the identity of electors and authentication of entries in electoral roll which will eventually help in identifying registration of name of the same person in more than one constituency or more than once in the same constituency.
He informed that the collection of Aadhaar numbers in Form 6B may be done online by the electors themselves or through offline.
An elector may fill Form 6B online through www.nvsp.in or www.voterportal.eci.gov.in or Voter Helpline App. In offline mode, the BLOs are currently making House-to-House visit for collection of Aadhaar number from electors in hard copy using Form 6B. All the off-line submitted Form 6B shall be digitised by BLOs using GARUDA App or by ERO using ERONET, within 7 days of the receipt of the Forms. In case, the elector does not have the Aadhaar number and thereby is not able to furnish Aadhaar Number, he/she needs to submit a copy of any of the eleven alternative documents viz. MGNREGA Job Card, Passbook with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour, Driving License, PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, Indian Passport, Pension document with photograph, Service Identity card with photograph issued to employees by Central/State/Govt/PSUs/Public Limited Companies, Official Identities Card issued to MPS/MLAs/MLCs, and Unique Identity ID(UDID) Card issued by M/o Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. CEO, Manipur also said before the meeting that the response of the electors for furnishing Aadhaar data in the State of Manipur is very encouraging and satisfactory particularly in valley districts.
Till date, Bishnupur district topped the list with 86.71% of electors furnishing their Aadhaar data. The list is followed by Jiribam (83.39%), Thoubal (64.59%) Kangpokpi (58.92%), Imphal East (53.12%), Imphal West (50.17%), Churachandpur (40.93%), Tamenglong (39.44%), Ukhrul (32.24%), Senapati (19.28%) and Chandel (17.80%).
Rajesh Agrawal sought the cooperation of the political parties in terms of dissemination of information and to convince the electors in furnishing their Aadhaar data. He also stated that the privacy of data of the electors shall be maintained. Gender-neutral provision for Service and Special Electors With respect to gender-neutral provision for Service and Special Electors, Rajesh Agrawal highlighted that the word “wife” has been substituted by the word “spouse” in relevant sections of Representation of People Act, 1950 and Representation of People Act, 1951. Accordingly, the husband of female service personnel can now register as a service elector along with his wife. Earlier, only the wife of a male service personnel was allowed to register as a service elector along with her husband.
While stating that the ambit of requisitioning power of Election Authorities has been enlarged, he informed that Section 160 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 has been amended to the extent that the election authorities are empowered to requisition any premises likely to be needed for the purpose of being used as a polling station, for counting, for storage of ballot boxes, voting machines (including voter-verifiable paper audit trail) and poll-related material after a poll has been taken, accommodation for security forces and polling personnel after the issuance of the election notification by the Election Commission under Section 30 of RPA, 1951.