NEW DELHI, Aug 29 - The government is discussing the possibility of having a common electoral roll for Lok Sabha, Assembly and local body elections to avoid discrepancies and bring uniformity in the voters list, officials said on Saturday.
At present, the Election Commission prepares the electoral roll or voters list for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. The State Election Commissions, which are altogether separate bodies as per constitutional provisions, hold elections for local bodies, such as municipalities and panchayats in their respective States based on their own voter lists.
Several State Election Commissions use the draft voter list of the EC to formulate their own rolls. The draft EC roll is often divided into wards for local body elections.
Now, the Centre is exploring the possibility of having a single voter list for Lok Sabha, Assembly and local body polls as this can help bring in uniformity and also save costs involved in an entire exercise getting repeated for making separate voter lists, officials said.
There are provisions in the Constitution that empower States to formulate their own laws to hold panchayat and municipal polls. States also have powers to either have their own voter lists or to adopt the one prepared by the EC for Assembly polls.
�The government is discussing whether there can be a single electoral roll for these three types of elections. Now States have to be persuaded to adopt the Central electoral roll ( the one prepared by EC),� explained a senior functionary.
According to another functionary, it is �desirable� to have one common electoral roll as at present an entire exercise gets repeated for the same purpose.
�Money is also spent for the same exercise twice. One roll can be good for voters and also there would be no discrepancy in local body and Assembly voter lists,� he said.
Often discrepancies have been noticed when names of voters are missing in one of the lists.
Earlier this month, the Prime Minister�s Office organised a meeting on the issue where top officials of the Law Ministry and the EC gave their views on the present status and the future possibilities.
The Election Commission, Law Commission and Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Personnel Ministries have supported the idea of a single voter list in the past also. � PTI