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AGP demands correct voters’ list
SPL CORRESPONDENT
 NEW DELHI, Aug 27 - The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on Monday demanded preparation of a correct voters’ list sans name of illegal migrants ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

The regional party conveyed its stand at a meeting convened by the Election Commission of all recognised national and state political parties on various electoral reforms here today.

Later talking to newsmen, AGP leader Dr Kamala Kalita, who was accompanied by Ramendra Narayan Kalita told newsmen that they have demanded that the voters’ list should be corrected and names of all illegal migrants should be deleted.

“The difference between our stand and the stand of the government is that it has said that names of all genuine citizens should be included in the voters’ list while our stand is that voters’ list should not include names of any foreigners,” Dr Kalita explained.

With the detection of 40 lakh names in the draft final list of the NRC, the government may have to take a call on the fate of those whose names appear in the final list.

Incidentally, Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat has said that the electoral roll is governed by a separate law and exclusion of names from the final NRC would not mean “automatic removal” from Assam’s voters list.

Rawat said that a voter, despite his absence from the final NRC, will continue to remain on the State’s electoral roll if he or she can prove to the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) that he has “sufficient documents” to prove three things. That he is a citizen of India, is at least 18 years old on January 2019 and is an ordinary resident in the Assembly constituency he wants to enrol.

Meanwhile, Biswajeet Daimary, Rajya Sabha MP, who represented the BPF in the meeting, told newsmen that bigger parties have huge election budget, which the smaller parties cannot match. While there is no limit on the parties election expenditure, there candidates have limits, which is strictly monitored, he pointed.

Besides, when the Prime Minister, Home Minister and even chief ministers campaign, the expenditures goes up. As a first step, the Prime Minister and Home Minister should be barred from campaigning in the polls to cut expenditure, he suggested.

Meanwhile, the meeting today held discussion on the fidelity of electoral rolls. EC has invited the views of all parties on measures to improve the accuracy, transparency and inclusivity of electoral rolls in view of the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies.

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