EC stumbles upon loads of bogus votes in Bengal

HAVING GIVEN Bihar its cleanest polls last year, the Election Commission has started working on a repeat in West Bengal .The 19-member panel of EC observers, led by the commission's pointman K.J. Rao, after completing a tour of the state submitted a report to Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon on Wednesday. In its report, the panel came down heavily on the state administration and the state election machinery for "largescale violation in preparing electoral rolls and issuing electoral photo-identity cards".

india Updated: Jan 19, 2006 01:17 IST

HAVING GIVEN Bihar its cleanest polls last year, the Election Commission has started working on a repeat in West Bengal .

The 19-member panel of EC observers, led by the commission's pointman K.J. Rao, after completing a tour of the state submitted a report to Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon on Wednesday. In its report, the panel came down heavily on the state administration and the state election machinery for "largescale violation in preparing electoral rolls and issuing electoral photo-identity cards".

The EC had sent observers to all the 19 districts of the state to scrutinize the exercise for revision of rolls amid reports of gross violations by the district electoral officers.

In 11 districts, the observers detected names of dead persons or those who had shifted out of the locality in the voters' list. In some cases, they found that photo-identity cards had been issued to people whose names did not exist in the voters' list.

The EC observers also expressed concern in their reports over the fact that names of illegal migrants have been included in the electoral rolls, particularly in districts bordering Bangladesh.

The districts include Jalpaiguri, Coochbihar, Malda, North and South Dinajpur and Murshidabad.

Other districts where the observers found gross violations were North 24 Pargana, Nadia, Burdwan and Hooghly. Kolkata too was not spared. Rao himself had visited Nadia from where several irregularities have been reported.

First Published: Jan 19, 2006 01:17 IST