3 lakh returnee migrant workers added to voters’ list in Bihar
The Election Commission has enrolled around 6.5 lakh new voters over the last six months, among them an estimated 3 lakh migrant labourers who returned home during the Covid-19 lockdown, as part of the ongoing updation of the voters’ list ahead of the assembly polls due in October-November.
The voters can apply online or through physical mode for inclusion and deletion of names.
“Our assessment is that out of the 30 lakh migrant returnees, 10-12 % had no voter card. They were enrolled in the electoral rolls at the quarantine centres opened to lodge them upon their return from various states during the nationwide lockdown in April-May. By that calculation, the number of migrant returnees in the revised voters’ list would be around 3 lakh,’’ said an election officer, seeking anonymity.
Another EC official said reports from districts suggest that 85-87% of migrant labourers already had voter cards though a large section usually did not vote in elections as they were not able to come to their native villages during elections because of work.
A large number of migrant labourers has stayed put in their native villages after returning from various states during the lockdown and officials say they could exercise their voting right this time.
The EC is expected to release the updated voters’ list in coming weeks after the announcement of assembly polls.
As per the final publication of electoral rolls published on February 7, 2020, the number of voters in Bihar stood at 7,18, 22,450 out of which 3,79,12,127 are men and 3,39,07,979 women. The number of third gender voters stood at 2,344.
Bihar’s additional chief electoral officer Ranjita said the exercise of revising the voters’ list was still going on.
Meanwhile, there are reports that a full EC team, led by chief election commissioner Sunil Arora, may visit the state soon to assess the poll preparedness.