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Law Minister bats for single electoral roll for all polls

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Arjun Ram Meghwal National Voters Day

Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal addressing the 14th National Voters' Day event in New Delhi

New Delhi: Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Thursday batted for a single electoral roll for all elections, saying it will be a "big step" if progress is made on the issue.

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At present, while the Election Commission prepares its rolls for Lok Sabha and assembly polls, respective state election commissions prepare their own voters' list for holding local body polls such as panchayats and municipalities.

Various state governments and Union territories use the electoral roll data of the EC for preparing electoral roll for local bodies and panchayat elections.

There have been calls for a single electoral roll for all elections as it would prevent duplication of efforts and reduce costs. Registered voters have also claimed that while their name is in one list, it is missing from the other.

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EC and state election commissions are separate bodies under the Constitution with their own mandate.

"Discussions are on relating to two-three issues that there should be a single voters' list. I want to tell you (CEC Rajiv Kumar) that when we go for elections, it is a big issue. (People) say (their) name was deleted from the voters' list, we faced difficulty in including our name in the voters' list. You (EC) have made the system online and have simplified it. But if we move ahead on the issue of a single voters' list, it will be a big step," Meghwal said.

He was addressing the 14th National Voters' Day event in the presence of President Droupadi Murmu here.

The high-level committee on 'one nation, one election' headed by former president Ram Nath Kovind -- mandated to examine and make recommendations on the issue of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, state assemblies, municipalities and panchayats -- is also looking into the subject of a single electoral roll.

Meghwal is a special invitee to the committee.

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