The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rush to set right roll of errors

Siliguri, Jan. 12: Inquiries and field inspections by the Siliguri subdivisional election office have revealed that several claims made by opposition parties regarding duplication of names in the voters' list here are true.

The main contention of the Congress, that former sabhadhipati Anil Saha was registered in the voters' lists of two assembly constituencies (Siliguri and Rajganj), is incorrect.

'On the conclusion of our inquiries today, we found that Anil Saha of Patharghata and Anil Chandra Saha in Ward 38 of Siliguri Municipal Corporation, are different persons with different ages and elector's photo identity card (EPIC) numbers,' Swati Banerjee, officer-in-charge of the election office, told The Telegraph.

However, duplication charges against most other prominent names have turned out to be correct, vindicating Opposition claims of anomalies in the rolls in favour of the ruling party.

The charges brought against mayor-in-council (health) Shalini Dalmia and her husband Sajjan Dalmia were found to be true. Their names had figured on the voters' lists of both Ward 8 and Ward 9 of the civic area.

'We have found this to be true,' said Banerjee. 'We interviewed them and they have admitted to being residents of Ward 8. They have agreed to fill up and sign Form 7 declaring this and, on the basis of which, their names will now be struck off the rolls in Ward 9.'

Similarly, Snigdha Hazra (Haldar), CPM councillor of Ward 2, who has her name, along with that of her sister Subhra Hazra, in two places against different serial numbers on the voters' lists of both Parts 156 and 154 of the ward, has admitted to the error. 'She too has signed Form 7 by which we will now remove one set of names,' the officer in charge added.

All complaints received from the opposition parties over the last few days have been processed and field inspections carried out by the election office on the eve of the arrival in Siliguri of M. Nagaraju, the Election Commission's observer for Darjeeling.

'We had to do this on a war footing so that the cases could be disposed by the time he arrives,' said sub-divisional officer B. Bhattacharya.

He, however, said that he had called an all-party meeting soon after he took charge of his office here in May last year and asked the representatives to submit claims/complaints on the electoral rolls.

'But till August 31, the day when the summary revisions started, only 150 such had been filed. The complaints being made now could have been made earlier,' he said.

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