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Local polls: Cabinet nods for 2015 voters' list

Local polls: Cabinet nods for 2015 voters list

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government has approved the recommendation of State Election Commission (SEC) to make 2015 voters' list the base for local body elections to be held later this year.

Earlier, both the ruling LDF and opposition UDF had taken the view that the 2019 voters' list should be used for the upcoming election.  But when the SEC insisted on the 2015 list,  citing logistical and financial reasons, the government switched to that position. Minister AC Moideen said that the decision of the SEC will be final. The minister said that changing the voters' list of Lok Sabha elections on ward basis would take time. Online system will be in place to renew the 2015 voters' list. A draft of voters list will be published on 20th January. Grievances about it will be heard up to 14th February. The final list will be published on 28th February. The voters will be given chance to add their names after ward delimitation and before the elections.

However, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala argued for using 2019 voters' list as the base; otherwise, he said, legal recourse will be sought in the matter.

Meanwhile the Kerala High Court on Tuesday asked the State Election Commission to file an explanation on a petition filed against adopting voters' list of 2015 as the draft list for the local polls to be held later this year.

The petition was filed by Muslim League's Nadapuram Constituency president Soopi Narikkatteri and Feroke Municipality Councillor P. Ashif.

The petitioners said that voters' list of 2019 Lok Sabha elections should be made the base for the local polls and new voters could be added to the list.  It would be the better option to reduce expenses and save time.  Adopting the 2015 voters' list as the base would put 90 percent of the new voters in trouble, the petition said.

The petitioners urged to order an annulment of the existing decision of the SEC and approve voters' list of 2019 Lok Sabha elections as draft voters list.

The petition will be heard after two weeks.

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