Tripura's electoral rolls' revision rescheduled

Agartala, Nov 3 (IANS) The Election Commission has rescheduled the on-going revision of electoral rolls in the Left-ruled Tripura following a complaint by the Congress about alleged irregularities, an official said here Saturday, sparking a protest from the CPI-M.

Tripura's Chief Electoral Officer Ashutosh Jindal told IANS: "The Election Commission has extended the schedule of receiving claims and objection from Nov 2 to Nov 14 in connection with the on-going special summary revision of the electoral rolls."

The move comes following a Congress delegation led by party general secretary and in-charge of northeastern states Luizinho Faleiro meeting the poll panel officials in New Delhi Thursday and complaining about alleged wrongdoing in the revision of the voters' list.

Assembly elections in three northeastern states - Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura - which have 60 seats each is scheduled to be held in February next year.

Criticising the change of the schedule of the revision of the electoral list, ruling Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) alleged that the opposition Congress is conspiring to dislodge the Left-Front government in Tripura, as it did in 1988.

"The Congress becomes frightened to face the assembly election as it would suffer a humiliating defeat in the ensuing assembly polls in Tripura. That's why the party wants to come to power through back door like 1988," CPI-M state secretary Bijon Dhar told reporters.

He said that the Congress-government in New Delhi led by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had promulgated 'disturb areas act' in Tripura after a series of "pre-planned terrorist violence" in its bid to install his party into power in the state.

According to the previous schedule, receiving claims and objection was ended Oct 19.

Jindal said: "Now the final publication of the electoral rolls will be made Jan 12 next year (2013) instead of previous Jan 5 (2013)."

There is no information so far with the CEO about sending of Election Commission team to supervise the revision of the electoral rolls as reported in a section of media.

Congress leader Ashish Saha, who was part of the delegation which met the poll panel in New Delhi, said that there are huge irregularities in the on going special summary revision of the electoral rolls.

"The CPI-M with the help of a section of officers has included huge fake names in the voters' list to get the electoral mileage in the next assembly polls. Even names of Bangladeshi citizens were incorporated in the voters' list," Saha told reporters.

According to the draft electoral list, published Sept 20, the total number of voters in Tripura was 2,277,415 including 1,114,100 women electorates.