EC takes cognisance of sudden increase in voters in Uttarakhand, orders inquiry

On the orders of the Commission, the State Election Commission has written a letter to the District Election Officers and ordered a quick investigation.

Published: 29th January 2023 03:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th January 2023 03:03 AM   |  A+A-

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Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: The Election Commission of India has ordered an inquiry into the reasons for the unprecedented rapid increase in the number of voters in Uttarakhand in the last 10 years. On the orders of the Commission, the State Election Commission has written a letter to the District Election Officers and ordered a quick investigation by constituting committees at the district level, assembly constituency level and polling station level in every district. 

During the Uttarakhand assembly elections in 2022, Dehradun-based think tank Social Development for Communities (SDC) Foundation had released a detailed report based on Election Commission data on the unprecedented increase in the number of voters in the state in the last 10 years. The foundation had compared the voting percentage with voters in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur and Goa. Among
all these states, Uttarakhand had the highest increase in the number of voters.

Based on this report, former IFS officer and Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha president Dr V K Bahuguna had written to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister before the Chief Election Commissioner, insisting on demanding an inquiry into the matter. Bahuguna said, "This unusual increase in the number of voters has
threatened the cultural integrity of the state. Uttarakhand's carrying capacity has already ended many years ago".

On the basis of the SDC Foundation's report, the committee to be formed at the district level to investigate will have four members, including the Deputy District Election Officer. The assembly constituency-level committee will have six members, including the electoral registration officer, and the booth-level
committee will have five members, including Patwari nominated by the deputy district magistrate. The State Election Commission has asked to complete this investigation and submit the report by February 28, 2023.

Welcoming the Election Commission's order to probe the comparative increase, SDC Foundation chairman Anup Nautiyal told The New Indian Express, "The seats where the number of voters have increased the most are all seats in the plains. Among the 70 seats in the state, Dharampur assembly constituency in Dehradun district recorded the highest voter registration. In the last 10 years, the number of voters in this assembly constituency has increased by 72 percent".

Apart from Dharampur, Rudrapur, Doiwala, Sahaspur, Kaladhungi, Kashipur, Raipur, Kichha, BHEL Ranipur and Rishikesh have seen the highest increase in the number of voters from 41 per cent to 72 per cent.

Nautiyal further said, "With such a large number of people coming from outside and settling in Uttarakhand, there is a lot of pressure on the state's ability to take care of the cities. Most cities in the state are already burdened far beyond their carrying capacity. This is leading to lack of civic amenities and different kinds of urban problems".

In the next few months, municipal elections are to be held in eight municipal corporations of the state - Dehradun, Haridwar, Roorkee, Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Haldwani, Kashipur and Rudrapur.

SDC chairman Nautiyal expressed apprehension, "These eight cities and their districts have recorded the highest increase in the number of voters. It needs to be noted that people are being brought in from outside to strengthen the vote bank. Along with all this, there may be a possibility of doing so in a planned
manner for social, religious or security reasons as well as political reasons".


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