NOBEL LAUREATE’S NAME HAD BEEN DELETED FROM VOTER LIST By bappaditya paul
Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen has applied for inclusion of his name as an Overseas voter at the Bolpur Assembly constituency in Birbhum. This came after election officials deleted his name from the list of regular voters as Dr Sen does not reside at his Bolpur house on a regular basis; he mostly divides time between the United States and the UK where he teaches at the Harvard University and the Trinity College, Cambridge, respectively.
According to sources in the office of the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) at Bolpur, the octogenarian economist in person submitted the application for inclusion of his name in late December last year when he was in Santiniketan to attend the Poush Mela.
“He submitted a filled-up Form 6A along with supporting documents. We found all his documents to be in order and his name will hopefully feature as an Overseas elector when the third supplementary of the voters’ list for Bolpur is published on 12 April,” said an officer. While Form 6 is required to be filled up for inclusion of name of individuals who regularly reside at a given address within India; Form 6A is meant for inclusion of names of Indian citizens who live abroad but have not acquired foreign citizenship.
Mr Kumar Rana, a Santiniketan-based aide of Dr Sen said that the Nobel laureate’s name was very much there in the voters’ list at Bolpur till 2001 but it somehow got deleted later. “He has voted several times even after he got the Nobel Prize; the last time he voted as a regular voter was during the 2001 Assembly election in West Bengal. Since his name accidentally got deleted from the roll, Dr Sen has now applied afresh for inclusion,” Mr Rana said. He said that he was not aware if the Nobel laureate’s name would now appear as an Overseas voter.
The famed economist has his parental house, “Pratichi”, located on Santiniketan-Sriniketan Road at Santiniketan. Although he remain engrossed in teaching at Harvard, Cambridge and in touring different parts of the world on invitation, Dr Sen makes it a point to spend a few months at Pratichi every year.
(The author is on the staff of The Statesman, India. This report first appeared in The Statesman on 13 March 2014 under a different headline.)