Saturday 15 June 2024

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Politics | Assembly '99

Roll revision rescheduled, polls by May end

 

The election commission is tentatively planning to hold Assembly election in Goa on 29 May, while also planning to declare the results on the same day, if possible, as Goa would be the first state to use electronic voting machines in all 40 constituencies.

Subhash Pani, the deputy election commissioner, during his visit here however preferred to be tight-lipped over the election date. "I can only say that we are technically getting prepared for elections before monsoons", he said.

The special revision of the electoral roll is now being rescheduled from 11 March, to be ended on 28 April with final publication of the electoral roll. The election office however would use the mother roll of 1995 with revised supplements as last year’s electoral roll is just being tendered for publication, for the reasons best known to the local officials for the unwarranted delay.

After giving a week more for entertaining applications to revise the roll, the EC is reportedly planning to begin the nomination process from 5 May, to complete withdrawals by 15 May. Giving only 14 days for the campaign, the polling day would probably be fixed for 29 May, it is learnt.

Besides attending the meeting of local election officials, Pani during his brief visit also met governor Lt Gen (Retd) J F R Jacob, who is presently running the state administration during the President’s rule. Though a few political groups have demanded to hold elections in the first week of June, Jacob learnt to have insisted once again for elections as early as by May end.

The interesting feature of these polls however would be the use of electronic machines throughout the 40 Assembly constituencies, having 1135 polling stations. Bringing them at the district counting centres soon after polling ends, the EC is planning to announce the results within three hours as mere pushing of the button would give the voting figures of all the candidates.

But when the counting would begin is yet to be decided by the EC as the counting process will have to be postponed in case repoll is ordered even at one polling centre. "We do not want polling to be influenced with the trend of results", says Pani.

While the tiny tourist state is already having 500 machines lying idle, the local office in consultation with Pani has also decided to procure 1000 more machines from Manipur by the month end.

The EC, according to Pani, is also planning to create a separate green channel for those voters coming to the booth with the voting identity card in view of encouraging the voters to use the cards. "But we will not make it compulsory", he adds.


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