No dual voting right: EC

‘Residents of disputed areas can only vote in one state’

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The Election Commission has asserted that residents of disputed areas of Meghalaya and Assam would not be allowed to vote in two states.

“If such people are found in both the places, they have to exercise their option. They cannot exercise their powers in two places,” the Election Commissioner Hari Shankar Brahma said after his meeting with Governor RS Mooshahary here on Tuesday.

There had been many cases in the past where villagers of the disputed areas were found indulging in dual voting, the Election Commissioner said adding “the dual voting is a fraudulent practice”.

It may be mentioned that the both Meghalaya and Assam have over 12 disputed areas along the border and there are reports that residents of the disputed stretch often exercise their franchise in both the states.

“If such people are found, they have to exercise their option. They cannot exercise their powers in two places,” he said.

Responding to a query on action that could be taken against dual voters, Brahma said, “Their names will be deleted and will be debarred from voting.”

According to him, the Election Commission will ensure that collectors from respective districts of Assam and Meghalaya do not commit any mistake in this regard.

Earlier in the day, the Election Commissioner met the State Chief Secretary WMS Pariat and discussed the issue of electoral rolls.

“The final electoral rolls will be published by January 5 and our effort is to see that no one is left out,” he said.

The Election Commissioner also informed that the poll panel is examining a proposal to have a EVM storage centre in Shillong for all the Northeastern states.