**Bhubaneswar: ** As the Election Commission of India has slated a special drive for the correction of draft voter list from September 1 to October 31 before the publication of final voter list on January 4, 2019 (the year earmarked for the general elections), Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) had convened an all-party meeting today.
It was attended by the representatives of all the recognized political parties in Odisha, both the regional and national parties.
The agenda for the meeting was initiating measures to improve the accuracy, transparency and inclusivity of electoral rolls.
Talking to media, Odisha Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar said, “As per the direction of Election Commission of India, a meeting is mandatory with all recognized political parties prior to the correction of voter list.”
The CEO also informed, “The aim of the meeting was to apprise the members of the political parties that from September 1 to 31 October, the special correction of voter list will be done. The meeting is also meant for requesting them to cooperate in this process of voter list correction.”
“In this special correction, utmost care to be taken so that the left out youth voters, women voters, ST & SC voters and differently-abled should be enlisted,” he stated further.
Soon after the important all-party meeting, Odisha BJP spokesperson Pitamber Acharya in his media reactions said, “Today we drew the notice of the Chief Electoral Officer to the irregularities in the booth rationalization. In many places, the notification of the Election Commission of India has been abused during booth rationalisation.”
“The special drive is going to be held for the correction of voter list. We stressed on observance of transparency during the correctional exercise,” he informed.
Senior Congress leader Sibananda Ray also said, “In many places the voter list hasn’t been prepared properly. We pointed it out today. We also demanded for the necessary correction.”
He stated, “There has been mass deletion which ought not to be. Names of innocent people have been struck off the list. All the people have been appealed to help the officials in the correction process of voter list at the block level.”
“We want that the lots of left out students and youth mass should be added into the voter list during this correction. Those who are above 18 years old, their names should be included in the voter list. Also the women, those who have been struck off the list, should also be added,” the senior Congress leader demanded.
Notably on August 27, the Chief Election Commission of India has already convened a meeting of all recognised national and regional parties to discuss various issues including the fidelity of electoral rolls and gender representation in political parties in view of 2019 general polls.
Seven national parties and 34 State parties had attended the meeting at New Delhi on August 27.
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