Suryakant Jena

The Odisha government has come under intense criticism from the Opposition unit for deciding not to add new voters while revising the electoral rolls for the forthcoming elections to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the State.

The Odisha unit of the Congress party on Thursday lashed out at the State government for taking such a decision which it claimed is against the youth and deprive them of exercising their franchise.

At a time when the date of the election has not been declared and neither the State Election Commissioner (SEC) nor the government is sure about the poll schedule, it is a misanthropic step by the BJD government to keep away the young voters from the elections, the party alleged.

The decision against the inclusion of new voters in the electoral roll gives a clear indication of the growing dislike among the young masses towards the BJD government, the party added.

The Congress party has urged the government to urgently make provisions to allow new eligible voters to register their names in the electoral roll.

There have been no comments from the Odisha government or the ruling BJD over the allegations of Congress.

Notably, the Odisha State Election Commission on Wednesday said the electoral roll revision will be completed by February end for all the 110 urban local bodies- 48 municipalities, 59 NACs and three municipal corporations

"As the Election Commission of India (ECI) has revised its electoral roll on January 1, 2022 and dispatched the same to us assembly-wise on January 5, 2022 so there will be no new addition of names in the voter list but only correction in case of any mistakes," said SEC AP Padhi.

As per the schedule released by the SEC, the primary voter list will be published on February 10. Any objections can be filed between February 11 and 16. The final electoral roll will be published on February 24 before its submission to the Election Commission on February 28.