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Punjab elections in January or February, voter list revision on

Assembly elections in Punjab are likely to be held in the last week of January or first week of February next year, state chief electoral officer VK Singh said on Tuesday.

punjab Updated: Sep 06, 2016 21:48 IST
Punjab elections,2017 Punjab polls,VK Singh
“A special campaign for revision of electoral rolls from September 7 to October 7 will be held,” VK Singh said. (Representative image )

The Punjab elections are likely in January-end or the first week of February in 2017, state chief electoral officer VK Singh has said here on Tuesday.

The Election Commission (EC) will announce the dates by the end of this year. The previous elections to the 117 seats were in January 2012 and the results came out in early March after polls in the other states got over. “The election department is going to revise the electoral rolls from September 7 to October 7,” said the CEO. “The objective is to include all eligible voters by January 2 before the nomination starts.”

Punjab chief electoral officer VK Singh at a press conference in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Keshav Singh/HT Photo)

Of almost 11.5 lakh population in the age group of 18 to 19, only 95,022 youth are on the electoral rolls. It means more than 10 lakh are still to be registered.

The 2016 data put Punjab’s population at 2.95 crore. “There must be 1.99 crore eligible voters (above 18) but only 1.92 crore have signed up with us. We are trying to get as many more as possible,” VK Singh said. “In the 2014 parliamentary elections, Punjab had 1.96-crore voters. After Aadhaar-based screening, nearly 4-lakh votes were deleted, as these were either duplicate or of dead people.”

Also read | Punjab poll arena turns comedy circus

The CEO regretted that the youth wasn’t much interested in signing up as voters. “We are taking a special campaign to colleges and youth hangouts to enrol new voters,” VK Singh said.

Ban on transfers

The Election Commission of India has banned the transfers of electoral registration officers and staff from different departments.

Parties given draft rolls

VK Singh met the representative of all political parties on Monday to inform them about the revision programme and handed them soft copy of the draft electoral rolls of 117 assembly constituencies.

The coming elections have a new factor — the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — which is posing a challenge to traditional rivals Akali-BJP alliance and the opposition Congress. Last week, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu announced a new political outfit, Awaaz-e-Punjab.

Ruling since 2007, the Akali-BJP combine will take its third shot at power.

Things to know

Who is eligible: Anyone 18 or above on January 1, 2017

Where to see draft electoral rolls: On ceopunjab.nic.in after September 7

Punjab population: 2.95 crore

Eligible voters: 2 crore

Voters on rolls: 1.9 crore, 96% of eligible population

Previous revision: 2 lakh names added, 1.9 lakh deleted

Electoral-population ratio: 651 (voters in every 1,000 people)

Voter gender ratio: 891 (women to every 1,000 men).