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An election commission official is busy in laying out electoral rolls at a display centre, July 31, 2012. — Photo by Mujeeb ur Rehman/White Star

ISLAMABAD, Jan 9: A yawning gap between the number of voters in most constituencies for National Assembly in the voters’ lists for the 2008 polls and those listed for 2013 elections has raised questions about the accuracy of electoral rolls. Both the increase and decrease in the number of voters in the rolls prepared for 2013 elections over that in the list for earlier elections exceed 100,000 in around two dozen constituencies.

The decrease in a constituency in Balochistan is as high as about 250,000 and the maximum increase of 192,000 is in a constituency in Punjab.

The decrease indicates bogus votes, including multiple and duplicate entries, and the increase shows that eligible voters were missed out in the door-to-door verification exercise in 2007.

An analysis of the two lists, available with Dawn, reveals that the number of voters in 112 of the 272 constituencies has come down in five years and increased in the remaining 160 constituencies.

The constituencies of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, leader of the opposition in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, federal ministers Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Hina Rabbani Khar and Makhdoom Shahabuddin, former minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi and PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Asif and Zahid Hamid are amongst the ones in Punjab where the number of voters has gone up by over 50,000.

The most significant decrease of 253,000 votes has been registered in NA-266 (Nasirabad-cum-Jaffarabad) in Balochistan. The number of registered voters in the constituency was 651,000 in 2008 but has now plunged to 398,000.

Former chief minister of Balochistan, Taj Muhammad Jamali, had won the seat in 2008.

Another unusual decrease of 213,000 has taken place in NA-262 (Qilla Abdullah) in Balochistan where the number of voters has come down from 392,000 in 2008 to 179,000.

Haji Rozuddin of JUI-F had defeated Malik Usman Achakzai of ANP by a narrow margin of 162 votes in the last polls for the seat.

In NA-23 (Kohistan) of Khyber Pakhtuhkhwa, the number of voters has come down to less than half of what it was in 2008 — from 317,000 to just 126,000. The seat was won by independent candidate Mehboobullah Jan in the last elections.

Another significant decline is in the NA-209 (Kandhkot-Kashmore) constituency where the number of voters has come down to 136,000 from 283,000 in 2008. The seat was won by sitting federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani with a large majority.

The number of voters in the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi — (NA-58) Attock — has declined from 315,000 in 2008 to 190,000.

Other constituencies where voters’ number has dropped by over 100,000 include NA-263, NA-259 and NA-267 (Balochistan), NA-216, NA-231, NA-233 and NA-237 (Sindh) and NA-114 and NA-125 (Punjab).

The most significant increase of 193,000 voters has been witnessed in NA-128 (Punjab) where the number of voters has climbed to 468,000 from 275,000 million in 2008. The constituencies where the number of voters has increased by over 100,000 include NA-3, NA 29 and NA-34 (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), NA-57, NA-59 and NA-125 (Punjab) and NA-244 (Sindh).

Out of the 148 constituencies in Punjab, there is a surge in 94 and a decline in 54.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the number of voters has increased in five of the 35 constituencies. The constituencies where the increase has been of over 50,000 include those of ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rahman and Qaumi Watan Party chief Aftab Ahmad Sherpao. A few constituencies where a decline has been recorded include that of Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour (NA-1).

In the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the number of voters has risen in eight and fallen in four constituencies. The number of voters has increased in both the constituencies of the federal capital.

In Sindh’s 61 constituencies, the number of voters has fallen in 36 and increased in 25. In Balochistan the number has dropped in 13 of the 14 constituencies.