The total number of voters in the city has witnessed a sudden spurt with an addition of more than 55,000 people. The photo electoral rolls that were released show that the total number of voters in Chandigarh are now 5.8 lakh as compared to 5.2 lakh last year. Several reasons are being attributed to this spurt ranging from the next Lok Sabha elections to awareness drives by the election department.
As per the electoral list, the city now has 5,80,700 registered voters. These comprise 3,15,336 males and 2,55,364 females. The city has a population of 10.55 lakh. The electoral rolls are revised every year. The process starts in October with people being invited to submit their forms over a period of one month. Thereafter, these are scrutinised and the list prepared.
In the year 2013 when the electoral list was released, there were 5,20,608 voters listed. There has been an increase of 55,455 voters. Just 363 votes were deleted from the previous year of 188 males and 175 females.
One of the reasons being attributed for the increase in number of voters being registered is the extension given for submission of the forms. Political parties had approached the Election Department seeking extension in time for submission of the forms. Thereafter, one month’s additional time was given to the residents.
An official of the Election Department said that the department had undertaken awareness drives to ensure more voter registration. The political parties were involved with the process. A marathon was also organised to encourage more people to register themselves.
With the Lok Sabha elections due in the next few months, the political parties took keen interest in the enrolment process.
However, BJP leader Arun Sood insists the number is still less. “The BJP had started a campaign to go from door to door to encourage people to register themselves. All help was provided including distribution of forms. We had also met the authorities seeking an extension of the date for submission of forms,” said Sood.
It was during the Lok Sabha elections in 1999 that the number of registered voters was 5.8 lakh. Since then, the number has witnessed a decline. During the last Lok Sabha election held in 2009, there were 5.22 lakh registered voters. There were complaints from several sectors at that time that the names of a large number of residents were missing from the list. At places, rows of houses had been deleted.