As Punjab is heading for assembly polls in 2017, chief election commissioner (CEC) Dr Nasim Zaidi and election commissioners AK Joti and Om Parkash Rawat will visit Punjab in mid-September to take stock of the situation.
With the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerging as new force on the poll scene and the issue of drugs being talked about much in the state, the Election Commission (EC) has also started making preparations in advance.
A five-member team of the EC, headed by deputy election commissioner Sandeep Saxena, met chief electoral officer (CEO), Punjab, VK Singh, and other officers of the state government over poll preparedness.
Other members of the team included Sudip Jain, director general, EC; Nikhil Kumar, director; Sumit Mukherjee and Avinash Kumar, both secretaries of the EC. They also met Manjeet Singh Narang, additional CEO, Hardeep Singh Dhillon, DGP, law and order; CSR Reddy, ADGP, provisioning and modernisation; and Naunihal Singh, IG, law and order, besides deputy commissioners and senior superintendents of police of all the districts of the state and officers of the narcotics control bureau.
The CEO office has started a process of identifying vulnerable constituencies and pockets in the state and when the EC team visits Punjab, the details would be discussed and a decision on measures to diffuse tension in these areas would be discussed.
VK Singh told the HT that a final round of revision of electoral rolls would begin from September 7 and a final list of voters would be published on January 2.
Punjab CEO VK Singh, in his report to the EC, has said that Punjab polls could take place on a single day. “There would be about 1.92 crore voters and Punjab, being a compact state, polls can be held on a single day,” he said.
4 LAKH VOTERS LESS
Compared to the 2014 parliamentary polls, when 1.96 crore figured in the voters’ list, for the forthcoming assembly polls, the number of voters has gone down by 4 lakh. “18 lakh voters have been deleted from the list, and 14 lakh fresh have been added,” VK Singh told HT. The 18 lakh voters don’t exist, they have either left the places where they were registered as voters or have died, he said.