Monday, September 22, 2008

Kashmir Valley has more voters than other regions

Revised Electoral Rolls Say It All

NASEER A GANAI


Srinagar, September 21: The recent revision of electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir have revealed that Kashmir valley had more voter population than the other regions of the state giving a set back to the crusaders of delimitation in Jammu, particularly the BJP and the Panthers Party. They have been asking for fresh delimitation on the misconceived notion that Jammu division had more voter population than Kashmir Valley.
Kashmir Valley has more voter population than any other region in the state despite a large number of people in Srinagar and other towns and villages not coming forward to register themselves with the Election Commission.
As per the recent revision carried out by the Election Commission of India in January-February this year, voter population of the Valley is 32,60,663. It shows total electors in Kupwara as 3,41,004, in Varmul (Varmul+Bandipore) 7,04,284, Srinagar (Srinagar+Ganderbal) 6,94,760, Budgam 3,83,914, Pulwama (Pulwama+Shopian) 4,32,434 and in Islamabad (Islamabad+Kulgam) 7,04,264.
Sources said for past some years people in the Valley are showing interest in getting themselves registered with the Election Commission primarily for getting voter identity cards. The card is considered to be most genuine identity document after passport.
However, some officers while pleading anonymity told Greater Kashmir that Srinagar district is not showing any interest in the exercise. “In Srinagar district particularly in downtown city people are not showing any interest to fill forms necessary for getting themselves registered in the electoral rolls,” said an officer. He said people at times rebuke them. 
Sources said Tawheedabad and Shamsabad sector-5 in Bemina area of the city are among many localities which do not figure in the electoral rolls of 2008 in their entirety.
The booth officers say towns like Sopur, Varmul, Shopian are also showing reluctance in the exercise.
The Kashmir Valley had more electors as well according to 2006 revision. The revision shows total electors in Kupwara as 3,35,196, erstwhile Varmul 6,79,673, erstwhile Srinagar 6,77,690, Budgam 3,63,315, erstwhile Pulwama 4,21,843, erstwhile Islamabad 6,78,173. The total electoral population of the Valley as per 2006 revision was 31,55,890. Sources said if the Valley shows interest in completing the formalities its voter population would be far higher than what it is presently.
In Leh and Kargil districts of Ladakh the number of electors as per 2008 revision is 1,52,513 with Leh having 74,396 electors and Kargil 78,117. As per 2006 revision total electors in Ladakh were 1,45,085 with Leh having 69,654 and Kargil 75,440 electors.
In Jammu division, electors as per 2008 revision are 30,84,417. In erstwhile district Doda the number is 4,58,621, Rajouri 3,53,457, Poonch 2,59,580, erstwhile Udhampur 4,93,694, Kathua 4,02,747, erstwhile Jammu 11,16,318. According to 2006 revision the total electors in Jammu division were 29,88,876.
The officials in the chief electoral office, while pleading anonymity, say the revision of electoral rolls is a continuous process. They said if some localities or some people have failed to register themselves despite being eligible they should come forward.
Sources said the special revision conducted by the ECI has deleted 2,40,825 voters, added 4.48 lakh voters across the state. This revision has reportedly deleted about 94,000 voters in Jammu district who had registered themselves twice or thrice, sources said. Sources said there was growing realization among people, particularly in Jammu, that false voters could be detrimental to their interests.
The Chief Electoral Officer, B.R Sharma, when contacted, said lack of awareness among people creates problem. “People migrate from rural areas to city or one part of the city to another and construct houses there. But they don’t inform authorities about it and consequently their names figure at different places,” he said, adding this year intensive revision was done and those whose name was figuring at two or more places or those who have died have been deleted both in Jammu and Kashmir divisions. He described revision as a continuous process and said names figuring twice can be deleted any time.

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