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Sinha for more reforms in conducting polls

Yashwant Sinha has called for more reforms in conducting polls to ease some practical difficulties which were seen during the first phase of polling.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Ranchi
UPDATED ON APR 24, 2004 07:53 PM IST

External Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Saturday called for more reforms in conducting elections to ease some practical difficulties which were seen during the first phase of polling in Jharkhand on April 20.

"I think a substantial number of voters could not exercise their franchise as their names were not in the voters list though they had photo identity cards with them," Sinha told a press conference.

Stating that the suggestions were absolutely his own, the senior BJP leader said that many people in his Hazaribagh constituency had asked him what was the necessity of having identity cards when one is not allowed to vote.

"I will place the suggestions before the party and after deliberating on the subject and if a decision comes out, a list of suggestions could be prepared and submitted to the election commission to smoothen the exercise even more," he said.

Asked to make a few suggestions which he thought could benefit the voters, Sinha said permanent polling stations should be built by designers so that voters do not have to roam about locating booths.

Stations are five or six km away from their homes, he said adding instead of politicians informing the voters on the locations of their booths, the government or the Election Commission could take over the task.

Meanwhile, campaigning for the elections in eight constituencies in Jharkhand in third phase of Lok Sabha polls came to an end on Saturday evening.

Altogether 97,81,955 voters, including 42,56,552 women and 3,451 people voting on postal ballots, would decide the fate of 97 candidates on April 26.

Prominent among the candidates seeking their electoral fortunes are JMM chief Sibu Soren from Dumka and Non-conventional Energy Minister Karia Munda of the BJP from Khunti.

Other politicians trying their luck include JPCC chief Thomas Hansda from Raj Mahal, former Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay of the Congress from Ranchi, sitting BJP MPs Abha Mahto (Jamshedpur), Dukha Bhagat (Lohardaga), Pradeep Yadav (Godda), Ram Tahal Choudhury (Ranchi) and Laxman Gilua (Singhbhum).

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