Poor enrolment for Legislative Council polls in Andhra Pradesh

Deccan Chronicle.  | Deccan Chronicle

Nation, Politics

Graduates not interested in elections.

The constituency had 1.2 lakh voters in the March 2006 elections and 1.6 lakh in March 2011. (Representational image)

Visakhapatnam: The Srikakulam-Vizianagaram-Visakhapatnam graduates’ constituency of Legislative Council witnessed a very thin enrolment. With the last date set for November 5, only about 14,700 graduates had registered by Friday.

The constituency had 1.2 lakh voters in the March 2006 elections and 1.6 lakh in March 2011. It was expected that the month-long enrolment exercise would net two lakh registrations. With the lukewarm response, the officials are expecting that the registrations may end up with between 50,000 and 80,000 voters.
Of the 14,700 graduates who have registrations, about 8,700 were received online.

While some attribute the poor turnout to the graduates lacking interest in the electoral process, some are of the opinion that many graduates do not know that they have to go for fresh registrations even though they voted in the earlier elections.

Notification released on October 1, the officials would release a draft list on November 23. As per the district officials, the claims and objections in this regard will be received up to December 8.

Claims or objections, if any, will be resolved by December 26 and the final list will be published on December 30. But to enrol in the list, the candidates have
to complete their graduation before October 2013.

MLC candidate A. Aja Sarma, general secretary of the Forum for Development of North Andhra (FDNA), said that there was no push for voter registrations on the part of the government.

“Making the voter ID, Aadhaar card and others mandatory for the voter registrations has affected the registrations. Awareness is also low among the graduates over the registration process. In some mandals, the number of registrations had not even crossed double,” Mr Aja Sarma said.

Citing the poor voter registration, SCST Upadhyaya Sangam AP president Samala Simhachalam sought extension of the deadline.

“There was a lack of awareness in the graduates that they have to go for fresh registrations. It would be okay to extend the last date in the interest of the public for registration of voters for the graduates’ constituency,” Mr Simhachalam said.