Silchar, May 15: The preparation of voter list with photographs of eligible electors for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, now under way in all districts, will be wrapped up by September 15.
The new move to compile the voter list with photographs came after an abortive start in 1997, when the AGP opposed it tooth and nail by pointing out there was scope for many suspected aliens from adjacent Bangladesh to register their names, during preparation of electoral rolls with photo identity cards.
A senior official of Cachar district administration here today said the move was imperative after the Election Commission made it clear to the Assam government this year that it would not be possible to hold Lok Sabha and Assembly elections without the photo identity cards.
The source said the house-to-house visit by state government employees to distribute the form and then collect it for preparing the voter list with pictures of each eligible elector, is a stepping stone towards finally preparing photo identity cards of all voters in the state.
However, the poll panel has made it clear that no additional expenses for herding voters for photographing them in each polling booth would be borne by the state government, as the money for the process was already forwarded to it in 1997.
As a result, the cash-strapped Tarun Gogoi government had no other way than to ask people wanting to register themselves as voters to arrange their own photos to be fixed in the application forms, which contain 10 details to be given by each voter. This step has led to discontent among voters, particularly the poor, even as they gear up to fill the form.
Karimganj deputy commissioner S. Thiek has instructed circle officers to collect the relevant information from each household in the district. The data would then be used to prepare a comprehensive report in tablet computers relating to firming up a census module about the socio-economic as well as caste details of people in the district before May 20 next year.
Official sources said such an intensive exercise was conducted in Cachar district early this year. Though the process was required to be completed within 45 days from December 30 last year in Karimganj district, it could not be started as tablet computers for the panchayat and rural development department staff harnessed for such a massive campaign, were not ready.