HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Uttarakhand CM has no house in Doon, at least as per voter ID

HT Correspondent  Dehradun, May 02, 2014
First Published: 22:52 IST(2/5/2014) | Last Updated: 22:55 IST(2/5/2014)

Believe it or not, but Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat has no place to reside in the state capital. At least his voter identity card suggests so.

The voter ID card issued to Rawat does not carry any address, which is against the norms set by the Election Commission.

However, the poll body does not agree. The poll officials say it is a small matter and the chief minister can exercise his franchise.
Incumbent CM and sitting MP Rawat’s name does, however, figure in the voter list of Haridwar. After taking over as the chief minister, he has a new address in Dehradun, but his voter identification card does not show any address. But his names is there in the voter list of Dehradun.

In fact, form 6 of the voter ID card application has a mandatory clause to furnish address proof for the person willing to include his or her name in the voters list.

The address is then cross-checked by the concerned authorities and only then is the identity card issued.

But in the CM’s case, the norm seems to have been sidelined. Not only Rawat, but his wife Renuka has also been issued a voter ID card without any address. Renuka is contesting as the Congress candidate from Haridwar parliamentary constituency.

State joint chief election officer Saujanya told HT that the address can be corrected in the voter list and it is only a “trivial” matter since the CM and his wife can cast their vote without a problem.

“There are many persons who are registered in the voters list and have shifted their homes. Such people have the right to vote and their addresses are mentioned in the voting list,” Saujanya defended.

more from Dehradun

‘Central aid to state rose in past 3 yrs, but growth slow’

The annual assistance from the Centre to the state has increased in last few financial years, according to official statistics, even though the Uttarakhand government has been firing salvos at the central government over it.
Two days ago, the state Congress unit demanded `4,000 crore financial assistance from the centre.
According to the central statistics office figures, the Centre released `4883.74 crores for the state in 2011-12. It released `4717.68 crores in 2012-2013. And in 2013-2014, it increased the assistance to `5418.60 crores.

Uttarakhand is one of the 11 Himalayan states which enjoy special category status besides Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
These special category states have to make part payment to the centre in lieu of getting funds for centrally-sponsored schemes.
Interestingly, on an average, central assistance has been substantial for the state though it has not helped Uttarakhand in increasing its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which is total monetary value of goods and services produced by a state economy in a given year.
“GSDP depends on various factors like rate of savings and investments and overall business atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean the state does not need help,” said Surender Kumar, media in-charge for CM adding that the state needs more funds.
The figures for Uttarakhand GSDP growth at constant (2004-5) price (as on 01-08-2014) was 9.36% in 2011-12. It was 5.61% in 2012-13 and 5.65% in 2013-2014.
Sometime back Planning Commission constituted a committee to study development in hill states arising from management of forest land with special focus on creation of infrastructure, livelihood and human development.
The report of the committee was discussed in Internal Planning Committee meeting held in February this year.
A Planning Commission note claimed that IPC broadly endorsed the recommendations of the committee. The report has also been forwarded to states for further inputs.

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