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Election Commission in a spot: Bihar has 6.01 crore adults, but more than 6.21 crore voters, bihar Assembly election, Bihar electoral rolls, Bihar Election News

Election Commission in a spot: Bihar has 6.01 crore adults, but more than 6.21 crore voters

If numbers tell a tale, Bihar has a blockbuster story to narrate: the registered voters in the state far exceeds its voting-age population.

As per the 2011 census, the state's adult population (18 plus) was around 6.01 crore. But the state's electoral rolls have more than 6.21 crore registered voters.

The Election Commission (EC) is now redoing the electoral rolls, after a series of complaints about large-scale manipulations and bogus voters in the state.The Commission has already deleted 70,000 voters from the rolls.

"Around 3.4 lakh duplicate voters, including those who had expired or shifted their residences, were detected during the roll revision. We have deleted their names from the roll," said Bihar's Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Naik said.

A survey by Answers Research Consultancy shows that state capital Patna has the maximum bogus voters – around 6.35 lakh. In 2014, the state's adult population was around 33 lakh, but the electoral rolls showed more than 39 lakh voters.

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Syed Adib Alam, a local social worker, who drew the EC's attention by filing a complaint, says that Saran district has 3.27 lakh bogus voters.

The number of fake voters in the state's 38 districts range from 47,235 (Vaishali) to 2.7 lakh (Nalanda), enough to overturn electoral verdicts. Alam claims there are 20 lakh bogus voters across the state.

According to the EC, the electoral rolls in the state will be ready by July 31. The state goes to polls in September-October, testing the political fortunes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his rivals, who are likely to fight a joint battle under a united Janata Parivar.

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had recently termed the Bihar polls as the "mother of all elections".

The term of the current assembly expires on November 29, 2015. The election will be the first test for the Janata Dal - United (JD- U), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Samajwadi Party (SP), which have decided to put up a joint fight under Nitish Kumar's Janata Parivar banner.

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are also likely to join this 'secular alliance', giving a tough fight to the BJP.

The secular alliance is banking on Yadavs (14% of population), Muslims (15%), Kurmis (4%) and some other backward castes like Koeris (5%). It has to be seen whether, like in the last Lok Sabha polls, Modi will be able to demolish caste barriers and retain the BJP's upper caste base (18%) and also to woe the 6% Dalits and 10% Maha Dalits through his ally Ram Vilas Paswan.

Most Backward Caste (MBCs), which constitute 21% of the population, will also be a major factor. But for now, it's the EC which is more worried about getting the numbers right in Bihar.


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