KOLKATA: West Bengal recorded more than 20.5 lakh new voters, mostly those who turned 18 in January this year, in the final electoral roll released by the Election Commission of India. The growth rate of voters of age group 18 to 19 was recorded at 3.08%.
The final electoral roll was prepared to comprise 263 assembly constituencies, without South 24-Parganas where the process was delayed because of Gangasagar fair.
The EC, however, excluded the names of 2,74,755 voters from the final list of electors. The EC had received 80 lakh application for inclusion, correction and exclusion in the electoral roll which is said to be a record in the recent past, said an EC official.
“This was because of fear among common people over the CAA and the NRC issues. People were seen queuing up in districts,’’ said the official.
The districts sharing a border with Bangladesh received the highest number of applications for inclusion in the list.
In North 24-Parganas district, the EC received more than 3.96,000 applications from which more than 2,68,000 applicants were included.
The minority-dominated Murshidabad was in the second position as 2,74,000 persons applied for enrolling themselves in which more than 2,48,000 were included in the final electoral roll.
Murshidabad had hit the headlines after three persons committed suicide from the bordering district allegedly driven by NRC and CAA fear.
Kolkata’s adjoining Howrah district was in the third position as more than 1,64,000 applications were received by the EC in which more than 1.45 lakh were included.
“Most of the applications were received from those pockets where the minority population is significant. This is a direct fall out of CAA and NRC. Common people want to get their names enrolled in the electoral roll as a document of their citizenship,’’ observed another EC official.
Notably, women voters’ ratio to male voters has also increased.