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  1. ECI organizes National Conference on Accessible Elections

    No.ECI/PN/82/2021                                              
    Dated:  September 21, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI organizes National Conference on Accessible Elections; 
    Way forward to further streamline policy framework discussed
     
    The Election Commission of India today organised a virtual National Conference on Accessible Elections 2021 with the objective to assess the present accessibility policies and discuss strategies for addressing barriers to enhance participation in electoral process for voters with disabilities. The virtual conference was attended by members of National Advisory Committee on Accessible Elections, Chief Electoral Officers, Civil Society Organisations representing various disabilities and representatives from Government Ministries and Institutions. 
    Reaffirming Election Commission’s commitment to make elections more inclusive, accessible, and voter friendly for PwDs, Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sushil Chandra said that the Commission values the decision making role of primary stakeholders - the voters including persons with disabilities, who can and should play a key role in electoral process. CEC added that all the meaningful inputs and recommendations suggested by Persons with Disabilities and their representative organisations are taken into consideration while framing guidelines for enhancing inclusivity and accessibility at every step of the electoral process. Shri Chandra reiterated ECI’s commitment in various international resolutions and mandates emphasising the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the electoral process. He emphasized the need for pleasant and dignified polling experience to PwDs. He mentioned that all polling stations are on ground floor equipped with ramp and wheelchairs, and sufficient volunteers are kept at polling stations for smooth and hassle free election experience. 
    Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar said that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 provides for a legal mandate to ensure all polling stations to be made accessible for persons with disabilities and all material related to electoral process are easily understandable and usable by them. He added that the collective efforts of election officials and CSO stakeholders have contributed significantly in reaching out to a large number of electors with disabilities across the country, apart from building the electoral process accessible, safe and respectful for different population groups. 
    Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey emphasised on the need for community support systems to be strengthened by ways of advanced data processing, identifying community referral points and creating harmonised echo systems for specific citizens groups such as persons with disabilities and senior citizens. Shri Pandey added that Accessible Elections have always been a thrust area of the Commission, whereby ECI specifically focuses on the inclusion of all target groups, ensuring that everyone has equal access throughout the entire electoral process. 
    Secretary General, Shri Umesh Sinha said that ECI has timely organised this conference when the Commission is preparing for the forthcoming State Assembly Elections. Inputs received from various CEOs, CSOs and ECI Icons will be incorporated in the planning and preparation for elections to be more accessible, inclusive and voter friendly for PwDs and Senior Citizens.
     
    It was informed that as on today about 77.4 lakhs PwDs are registered voters. Recognising that a strong and vibrant democracy is founded on the bedrock of inclusion and participation, today’s deliberations focused on themes of Identification/ mapping of PwDs, Accessible Registration, Facilitation at Polling Stations, Efficient use of Technology for Accessible elections, Accessible Voter Education and Leveraging Partnerships & Collaborations and Media Outreach. Significant speakers from different CSOs including Director AADI, Executive Director, National Association of Deaf, Director, SPARC-India, Executive Director, NCPEDP, Executive Director BPA, representatives from ISLRTC & PDUNIPPD, as also ECI National Icon, Dr. Niru Kumar shared valuable inputs for making the election accessible and inclusive.
    Based on suggestions received from different stakeholders, a resolution was adopted to pave the way forward to further streamline the policy framework on ‘Accessible Elections’, for future elections. Comprehensive monitoring mechanism and Accessibility Assessment of all polling stations; Integration of all mainstream policies & programs for PwDs; training & sensitization of election personnel; increased awareness to improve understanding of disability ; improvised methods of data collection; awareness on postal ballot facility for PwDs; robust IVRS Helpline and online grievance redressal mechanism and deployment of accessibility observers and micro observers to ensure accessibility at all levels of electoral process were some of the the ideas discussed during the virtual conference.
    During the conference, Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra along with the Election Commissioners Shri Rajiv Kumar & Shri Anup Chandra Pandey released the following; 
    Crossing the Barriers- Accessibility Initiatives 2021. The Booklet is a compilation of innovative practices & accessibility initiatives for facilitating and empowering PwD electors.  Braille Language versions of recently launched initiatives like Voter Guide, Letter to the new voter, and a Song Booklet of 50 motivational songs on voter awareness.  Sign Language versions of two awareness videos of Voter helpline app and EVM-VVPAT An evaluation study of Outcomes of SVEEP Activities and Facilities provided to PwDs in General Assembly Election 2018 & Lok Sabha Elections 2019 in Karnataka was also released by the Commission. 
    A presentation on accessibility initiatives taken so far by the Election Commission including the learnings & experiences from the recently poll gone states, was also shared with the participants. The Conference had dedicated sign language interpreters to make the conference accessible for PwD participants. 

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  2. भारत निर्वाचन आयोग में हिंदी दिवस समारोह 2021 का आयोजन

    सं.. ईसीआई/पीएन/81/2021 
    दिनांक :  14 सितम्बर, 2021
    प्रेस नोट 
    भारत निर्वाचन आयोग में हिंदी दिवस समारोह 2021 का आयोजन 
    भारत निर्वाचन आयोग में आज दिनांक 14.09.2021 को अपराह्न 4:00 बजे माननीय आयोग की अध्यक्षता में हिंदी दिवस समारोह का आयोजन किया गया। माननीय मुख्य निर्वाचन आयुक्त, श्री सुशील चंद्रा, निर्वाचन आयुक्त, श्री राजीव कुमार और निर्वाचन आयुक्त, श्री अनूप चंद्र पाण्डेय ने इस अवसर पर 'राजभाषा स्मारिका', आयोग की इन-हाउस त्रैमासिक हिंदी पत्रिका- 'महत्वपूर्ण है मत मेरा' और 'एटलस 2019' (हिंदी संस्करण) का विमोचन किया। साथ ही, आयोग के कर-कमलों से आरटीआई पोर्टल के हिंदी रूप का लोकार्पण भी किया गया। 

     2.     उल्लेखनीय है कि भारत निर्वाचन आयोग में 01 सितम्बर, 2021 से लेकर 14 सितम्बर, 2021 तक हिंदी पखवाड़ा का आयोजन किया गया। पखवाड़े के अवसर पर विभिन्न प्रकार की प्रतियोगिताएं, टिप्पण एवं प्रारूपण प्रतियोगिता, हिंदी निबंध प्रतियोगिता, हिंदी टंकण प्रतियोगिता, हिंदी कविता पाठ प्रतियोगिता एवं एमटीएस कर्मचारियों के लिए श्रुतलेख एवं सामान्य ज्ञान प्रतियोगिता आयोजित की गईं जिनमें आयोग के स्टॉफ सदस्यों ने बढ़-चढ़कर भाग लिया। 
    3.     इस अवसर पर प्रतिभागियों का मनोबल बढ़ाते हुए मुख्य निर्वाचन आयुक्त, श्री सुशील चंद्रा ने कहा कि केवल पखवाड़े में ही हिंदी में काम न करें, अपितु बाकी दिनों में भी अपने प्रशासनिक कार्य हिंदी में करने की शुरुआत करें। उन्होंने राजभाषा स्मारिका प्रकाशित करने के लिए आयोग के राजभाषा डिवीजन की सराहना की और कहा कि इस तरह के प्रकाशन त्रैमासिक आधार पर नियमित रूप में प्रकाशित किए जाएं। इस अवसर पर अपने संबोधन में श्री निर्वाचन आयुक्त, श्री राजीव कुमार ने कहा कि इसे वार्षिक अनुष्ठान न बनाएं और उन्होंने हिंदी का यशगान करते हुए हिंदी की महत्ता बतलाने वाली अपनी एक स्वरचित कविता भी पढ़कर सुनाई। इस अवसर पर बोलते हुए माननीय निर्वाचन आयुक्त, श्री अनूप चंद्र पाण्डेय ने कहा, "अंग्रेजी में बोलना कोई गौरव का प्रतीक नहीं है।" उन्होंने यह भी कहा कि हिंदी लिंग्वा इंडिका बन गई है और भारत में यह सम्पर्क भाषा के रूप में काम कर रही है। उन्होंने कहा कि हिंदी में काम करने की शुरुआत हस्ताक्षर करके करें।  

     4.     आयोग के इस हिंदी दिवस समारोह में हिंदी प्रतियोगिताओं के विजेता प्रतिभागियों को माननीय आयोग के कर-कमलों से प्रशस्ति पत्र एवं पुरस्कार प्रदान किए गए।

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  3. Bye Election to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/80/2021
    Dated: 09th September, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Bye Election to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg. 
    There is a casual vacancy in the Bihar Legislative Council to be filled up by the members of Legislative Assembly. The details of the vacancy are as follows: 
    S.No.
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Date & Cause of vacancy
    Term upto
    1.
    Sh. Tanveer Akhtar
    By MLAs
    Death on 09.05.2021
    21.07.2022
    2.           The Commission has decided to hold a bye-election to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of the Legislative Assembly to fill the above mentioned vacancy as per the following schedule:
    S. No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.        
    Issue of Notification
    15th September,  2021 (Wednesday)
    2.        
    Last Date of making nominations
    22nd September,  2021 (Wednesday)
    3.        
    Scrutiny of nominations
    23rd September,  2021 (Thursday)
    4.        
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    27th September,  2021 (Monday)
    5.        
    Date of Poll
    04th October, 2021 (Monday)
    6.        
    Hours of Poll
    09:00am – 04:00pm
    7.        
    Counting of Votes
    04th October, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00pm
    8.        
    Date before which election shall be completed
    06th October, 2021 (Wednesday)
                                                                                
    3.           Broad Guidelines of Covid-19 as already issued by ECI as well as the recent guidelines issued by ECI as contained in para 13 of Press Note dated 04.09.2021 available at link https://eci.gov.in/files/file/13681-schedule-to-fill-casual-vacancy-and-adjourned-poll-in-the-assembly-constituencies-regarding/ to be followed, wherever applicable, during entire election process for all persons. 
    4.           The Chief Secretary, Bihar is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the election.

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  4. Bye Elections to the Council of States from various States -reg.

    No. ECI/PN/79/2021
    Dated: 09th September, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:    Bye Elections to the Council of States from various States -reg. 
    There are six casual vacancies in the Council of States from various States as per details below: -
    State
    Name of Member
    Cause of vacancy
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    West Bengal
    Sh. Manas Ranjan Bhunia
    Resignation
    06.05.2021
    18.08.2023
    Assam
    Sh. Biswajit Daimary
    Resignation
    10.05.2021
    09.04.2026
    Tamil Nadu
    Thiru. K.P. Munusamy
    Resignation
    07.05.2021
    02.04.2026
    Tamil Nadu
    Thiru. R. Vaithilingam
    Resignation
    07.05.2021
    29.06.2022
    Maharashtra
    Sh. Rajeev Shankarrao Satav
    Death
    16.05.2021
    02.04.2026
    Madhya Pradesh
    Sh. Thaawarchand Gehlot
    Resignation
    07.07.2021
    02.04.2024
     2. The Commission has decided to hold six bye-elections to the Council of States from above mentioned States to fill up the above said vacancies in accordance with the following schedule: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
      Issue of Notifications
    15th September,  2021 (Wednesday)
      Last date of making nominations
    22nd September,  2021 (Wednesday)
      Scrutiny of nominations
    23rd September,  2021 (Thursday)
      Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    27th September,  2021 (Monday)
      Date of Poll
    04th October, 2021 (Monday)
      Hours of Poll
    09:00am – 04:00pm
      Counting of Votes
    04th October, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00pm
      Date before which election shall be completed
    06th October, 2021 (Wednesday)
     
    3.  Broad Guidelines of Covid-19 as already issued by ECI as well as the recent guidelines issued by ECI as contained in para 13 of Press Note dated 04.09.2021 available at link
     4. The Chief Secretaries of States concerned are being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the election.

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  5. Biennial Election to the Council of States from Union Territory of Puducherry to fill the seat of a member retiring on 06.10.2021-reg.

    No. ECI/PN/78/2021  
    Dated:  09th September 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Sub: Biennial Election to the Council of States from Union Territory of Puducherry to fill the seat of a member retiring on 06.10.2021-reg.                                                                                                                                      
    The term of office of 01 member of the Council of States elected from Union Territory of Puducherry is due to expire on his retirement in October, 2021 as detailed below: 
    Name of Union Territory
    Name of Member
    Date of Retirement
     
    Puducherry
    Sh. N. Gokulakrishnan
    06.10.2021
     
    Sl. No.
    Events
    Dates & Days
      Issue of Notifications
    15th September,  2021 (Wednesday)
      Last date of making nominations
    22nd September,  2021 (Wednesday)
      Scrutiny of nominations
    23rd September,  2021 (Thursday)
      Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    27th September,  2021 (Monday)
      Date of Poll
    04th October, 2021 (Monday)
      Hours of Poll
    09:00am – 04:00pm
      Counting of Votes
    04th October, 2021 (Monday)  at 05:00 pm
      Date before which election shall be completed
    06th October, 2021 (Wednesday)
    2.           The Commission has decided to hold biennial election to the Council of States from Union Territory of Puducherry to fill up the above said vacancy in accordance with the following Schedule: - 
    3.           Broad Guidelines of Covid-19 as already issued by ECI as well as the recent guidelines issued by ECI as contained in para 13 of Press Note dated 04.09.2021 available at link https://eci.gov.in/files/file/13681-schedule-to-fill-casual-vacancy-and-adjourned-poll-in-the-assembly-constituencies-regarding/ to be followed, wherever applicable, during entire election process for all persons. 
    4.           The Chief Secretary, Government of Puducherry is being directed to depute a senior officer from the Union Territory to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the said biennial election.

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  6. Schedule to fill casual vacancy and adjourned poll in the Assembly Constituencies - regarding

    No. ECI/PN/77/202
    Dated:  04.09.2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Schedule to fill casual vacancy and adjourned poll in the Assembly Constituencies - regarding
     The Commission vide press note No. ECI/PN/61/2021 dated 3rd May 2021 deferred the adjourned poll (which was scheduled to be held on 16.05.2021) and extended the period of elections in 110-Pipli Assembly Constituency (AC) of Odisha and 58-Jangipur & 56-Samserganj AC of West Bengal after taking note of lockdown/restrictions under Disaster Management Act, 2005, as issued by NDMA/SDMA. Further, the Commission vide press note No. ECI/PN/64/2021 dated 5th May 2021 deferred the bye-elections in various States/UT, after taking all material facts and inputs of Chief Electoral Officers of various States/UT in view of the pandemic.
     2. As on date there are three deferred adjourned polls (two in the state of West Bengal and one in the state of Odisha), three vacancies in Parliamentary Constituencies and 32 vacancies in Legislative Assemblies of various States/UT.
     3.  In order to assess the feasibility of holding bye-elections in various States/UT, a meeting was held through video conferencing on 01.09.2021 with Chief Secretaries, senior officers from the department of Health & Home Affairs, DGPs from the concerned States/UT and Chief Electoral Officers from concerned States/UT. The Chief Secretaries/Chief Electoral Officers shared their inputs, constraints, issues and challenges in conducting bye-elections in their States/UT in view of COVID-l9 pandemic, flood situation and festivals in near future and so on. The Chief Secretaries from the concerned poll going States have also sent their views and inputs in writing.
     4. The Chief Secretaries of States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Adviser of UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, brought to the notice of the Commission the constraints related to flood situations, festivals and pandemic. They suggested that it would be advisable to have bye-elections after the end of festival season.
     5. Besides these, some states have also brought to the notice of the Commission that Government of India, various research institutions, technical expert committees and professionals have predicted the possibility of third wave of COVID-19 October onwards. MHA has also issued detailed instructions on prevention of COVID-19 on August 28, 2021.
     6. The Chief Secretary, Odisha also informed that COVID situation is under control and poll can be held. The Chief Secretary West Bengal informed that COVID-19 situation is fully under control. He also brought to the notice that the flood situation in the state has not affected the poll bound Assembly Constituencies and the State is fully geared up to hold the elections. He also cited that under Article 164(4) of the Constitution of India, a Minister who is not a member of the Legislature of the State for a period of six consecutive months shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister and there will be a constitutional crisis and vacuum in the top executive posts in the Government unless elections are held immediately. He has also informed that in view of administrative exigencies and public interest and to avoid vacuum in the state, bye-elections for 159- Bhabanipur, Kolkata from where Ms. Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister intends to contest elections may be conducted.  
     7. After taking into consideration the inputs and views of the Chief Secretaries of the concerned States and respective Chief Electoral Officers, while the Commission has decided not to hold bye-elections in other 31 Assembly Constituencies and 3 Parliamentary Constituencies and considering the constitutional exigency and special request from State of West Bengal, it has decided to hold bye-election in 159- Bhabanipur AC. Much stricter norms have been kept by the Commission as an abundant caution to safeguard from COVID-19 pandemic. The schedule for the bye-election is attached at Annexure-1.
     8.  Further, the Commission has also decided to hold polls in 3 Assembly Constituencies namely 56-Samserganj, 58- Jangipur of West Bengal and 1 Assembly Constituency 110-Pipli of Odisha where the adjourned poll was deferred vide Commission’s notification 4th May, 2021, as per the schedule given in Annexure- 2. Separate notifications are being issued in this regard.
     The candidates/political parties for these 3 ACs have already availed the campaign period from 29.04.2021 to 03.05.2021. In view of this, the Commission has now decided to allow the campaign from 20.09.2021 only in these constituencies.
     9. ELECTORAL ROLL
    The published Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2021 will be used for these elections.
     10. ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES (EVMs) and VVPATs
    The Commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in the bye-election in all the polling stations. Adequate numbers of EVMs and VVPATs have been made available and all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly with the help of these machines.
     11. IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
    Electoral Photo Identity cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter. However, any of the below mentioned identification documents can also be shown at the polling station:
          i.        Aadhar Card,
        ii.         MNREGA Job Card,
       iii.         Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office,
       iv.        Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour,
        v.         Driving License,
       vi.        PAN Card,
      vii.        Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR,
     viii.        Indian Passport,
       ix.         Pension document with photograph,
        x.        Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, and
       xi.         Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs.
     12.     MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
              The Model code of conduct shall come into force with immediate effect from 04.09.2021 onwards in the district(s) in which the whole or any part of the Assembly constituency going for election is included, subject to partial modification as issued vide Commission’ s instruction No. 437/6/1NST/2016-CCS, dated 29th June, 2017 (available on the commission's website).
     13. BROAD GUIDELINES TO BE FOLLOWED DURING THE CONDUCT OF BYE-ELECTIONS /ADJOURNED POLL DURING the period of COVID-19
    The Commission has issued broad guidelines on 21st August, 2020. Also, it has issued further guidelines on 09.10.2020, 09.04.2021,16.04.2021, 21.04.2021, 22.04.2021, 23.04.2021 and 28.04.2021 available on Commission’s website eci.gov.in or link https://eci.gov.in/candidate-political-parties/instructions-on-covid-19/.  Also, vide letter No.40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 28th August, 2021, instructions for implementation of targeted and prompt actions for COVID management has been extended by MHA up to 30th September, 2021. After taking inputs from the political parties/Chief Electoral Officers and keeping the extant instructions of MHA/MoHFW in view, the Commission has further strengthened these guidelines. Further, the Commission’s all instructions relating to conduct of General Election in West Bengal during the COVID-19 period shall also be mutatis mutandis applicable for these bye-elections/adjourned poll.
    All stake holders shall abide by these instructions. State Government concerned shall take all appropriate actions/measures in compliance to these instructions as follows.
    1
    Nomination
    During Pre and post nomination procession, public meeting prohibited / Only three vehicles permitted within a periphery of 100 meters of RO's office. No procession for nomination shall be permitted.
    2
    Campaign period
     
    (a) Meeting for
     
       (i) Indoor
     
    30% of allowed capacity or 200 persons, whichever is less. A register will be maintained to count the number of people attending the meeting.
     
     
     
       (ii) Outdoor
     
    With 50% of capacity (as per Covid-19 guidelines) or 1000 in the case of Star Campaigners and 50% of the capacity or 500 in all other cases. In either case, the allowed number is whichever is less. The entire area will be cordoned off and will be guarded by the police. The count of people entering the ground will be monitored. Expenditure for the cordoning/barricading will be borne by the candidate/party. Only those grounds which are cordoned/barricaded completely will be used for rallies.
     
    (b) Star Campaigners
    Number of Star Campaigners restricted to 20 for these bye-elections for National /State recognized parties and 10 for un-
    recognized registered parties in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
     
    (c) Road show
    No Roadshow shall be allowed and No Motor/Bike/Cycle rallies to be allowed
     
    (d) Street corner meeting
    Maximum 50 persons shall be allowed (Subject to availability of space and compliance to COVID-19 guidelines.)
     
    (e) Door to door campaign
    Door to door campaign with 5 persons including candidates/their representatives.
     
    (f) Campaign through video van
    Not more than 50 audiences shall be allowed in one cluster point subject to availability of space and compliance to covid guidelines.
     
    (g) Use of vehicles for campaign
    Total vehicles allowed for a candidate/political party (excluding Star Campaigner):- 20
    Maximum no. of persons allowed per vehicle 50% of the capacity.
    3
    Silence period
    The silence period is 72 hours before the end of poll. 
    4
    Poll day activities
    1. Maximum 2 vehicles with 3 persons each shall be allowed. Security as per the applicable extant guidelines.
    2.  Poll day activity on polling station as per ECI guidelines.
    5
    Counting day
    DEOs to take appropriate measures to prevent crowding. Social distancing and other COVID safety protocols to be strictly adhered to at all the times during counting.
     6.    All such activities will be strictly complied as per the Covid-19 guidelines issued by competent authorities. Social distancing and use of mask, sanitizers, thermal scanning, face shield, hand gloves, etc., as per COVID-19 protocol, have to be complied with. SDMA is responsible for all preventive and mitigation measures to ensure adherence to COVID protocol. Chief Secretary and DG and district level authorities will be responsible for monitoring, supervision and compliance of covid-19 guidelines.  
    7.    If a candidate or political party violates any of the above guidelines, no more permission shall be given to the concerned candidate/party for rallies, meetings etc. If any star campaigner violates the COVID protocols, he shall not be allowed to campaign further in that constituency/district.
    8.    All polling personnel and election officials including the private persons engaged in the election duty shall be double vaccinated before taking their services.
    9.    Candidate/election agent/polling agent counting agent/driver etc. whoever is coming in contact with the public or election officials have to be double vaccinated.
    10. One health worker to be appointed as COVID nodal officer for each Polling Station.
    11. CS/DG and concerned DMs/SPs shall take enough preventive measures and make necessary arrangements to ensure that no poll related violence occurs during pre and post poll.   
    12. In the light of advisory issued by the Health Ministry of GoI, ECI will keep a close watch on the evolving situation and may further tighten the guidelines for the upcoming elections.
     
    Annexure -1 
    Schedule for bye-election in 159- Bhabanipur AC in West Bengal
    Poll Events
    Date and Day
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    06.09.2021, Monday
    Last Date of Nominations
    13.09.2021, Monday
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    14.09.2021, Tuesday
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    16.09.2021, Thursday
    Date of Poll
    30.09.2021, Thursday
    Date of Counting
    03.10.2021, Sunday
    Date before which election shall be completed
    05.10.2021, Tuesday
     
    Annexure-2
    Schedule for polls in 56-Samserganj & 58- Jangipur Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal and 110-Pipli AC in Odisha where the adjourned polls were deferred 
    Poll Events
    Date and Day
    Date of Poll
    30.09.2021, Thursday
    Date of Counting
    03.10.2021, Sunday
    Date before which election shall be completed
    05.10.2021, Tuesday

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  7. ECI organizes two-day SVEEP Consultation Workshop

    No. ECI/PN/76/2021                            
    August 26, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI organizes two-day SVEEP Consultation Workshop 
    A new initiative of personalised ‘Letter to New Voters’ unveiled; compilation of lyrics of SVEEP songs also released
    SVEEP teams to ensure voter centric messaging; ease of enrolment and polling to be ensured: CEC Shri Sushil Chandra
    The Election Commission of India organized a two-day SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) Consultation Workshop on August 25-26, 2021. The agenda of the workshop was to review State SVEEP Plans & conduct extensive deliberations on the important aspects of SVEEP for a comprehensive strategy for the forthcoming elections.

    Addressing the participants, Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sushil Chandra, observed that each voter interacts with the election machinery at two critical stages namely during enrollment and poll day and the two experiences must be very pleasant ones. He stressed that the field teams should ensure that the enrolment process is seamless and polling experience remains hassle free for the voters. He added that it is imperative that we evaluate our strategy & current interventions at regular intervals; identify critical gaps and address the challenges to devise deliverable action points. He emphasised that implementation of the strategy at the ground level is important. Shri Chandra stressed on the need for a 360-degree SVEEP - Communication Strategy to ensure that voters have access to all election related information and our SVEEP strategy must be voter centric and booth centric. 
    Shri Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar unveiled a new initiative to reach out to new voters through a personalized letter from the Commission when sending out their Voter ID Cards. The package would include a Voter Guide for new voters along with a congratulatory letter and a pledge for ethical voting.

    Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar said that the need for communication is self-evident in today’s world. He highlighted the role of social media and the new mediums of communication in outreach efforts. Shri Kumar elaborated on the importance of content strategy and distribution channels as part of the holistic communication plan. He said partnering with district level local icons would help strengthen our messaging with our voters.
    Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey, while interacting with the teams on the previous day highlighted the importance of synergy between the use of social media & traditional forms of communication in the SVEEP strategy. Shri Pandey said that the state teams should further conduct similar workshops and deliberations with District Electoral Officers and their teams in respective states. 

    Secretary General, Shri Umesh Sinha during his welcome address said that the consultation workshop would help revisit the fundamentals of SVEEP Programme & take a fresh look at different interventions and approach. He added that SVEEP is a 360-degree communication plan with the objective to reach each and every voter. 
    The Commission also launched the latest issue of the ‘My Vote Matters- a Quarterly magazine of the Commission; a document on Online Activities for Electoral Literacy Clubs and a song booklet with a compilation of lyrics of motivational SVEEP songs .
    The two-day consultation workshop was attended by Chief Electoral Officers and SVEEP Nodal Officers from Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. To further enrich the idea & knowledge exchange, Senior officers from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting were also invited for this consultation workshop. The workshop was also attended by Senior DECs, DECs, DGs, CEO Delhi and senior officials from the Election Commission.
    As part of the consultation workshop, brainstorming sessions were held on broad themes including Critical Gaps Analysis & Targeted Interventions (Gender, Youth & Service Electors); Persons with Disabilities & Senior Citizens; Mainstreaming of Electoral Literacy & Revitalizing ELCs, Chunav Pathshala & Voter Awareness Forums; Utilizing Media & Social Media to amplify SVEEP Outreach; Leveraging Collaborations & Partnerships and Preparation of Booth, AC, District wise SVEEP Plan with special focus on Low Voter Turnout areas. 
    Based on the inputs of the thematic discussions, CEOs presented their State specific SVEEP Plans for the forthcoming elections. 

    Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program is the flagship program of the Election Commission of India for voter education & awareness, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India.  SVEEP’s primary goal is to build an inclusive & participative democracy by encouraging all eligible citizens to vote and make an informed decision & ethical choice.                               

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  8. Bye Election to the Council of States from Tamil Nadu -reg.

    No. ECI/PN/75/2021
    Dated: 17th August, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:    Bye Election to the Council of States from Tamil Nadu -reg.
    There is a casual vacancy in the Council of States from Tamil Nadu as per following details: -
    Name of Member
    Reason
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    Thiru. A. Mohammedjan
    Death
    23.03.2021
    24.07.2025
     2. The Commission has decided to hold bye-election to the Council of States from Tamil Nadu to fill up the above-mentioned vacancy in accordance with the following schedule: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
      Issue of Notifications
    24th August, 2021 (Tuesday)
      Last date of making nominations
    31st August, 2021 (Tuesday)
      Scrutiny of nominations
    01st September, 2021 (Wednesday)
      Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    03rd September, 2021 (Friday)
      Date of Poll
    13th September, 2021, (Monday)
      Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
      Counting of Votes
    13th September, 2021, (Monday) at 05:00pm
      Date before which election shall be completed
    15th September, 2021 (Wednesday)
     
    3. Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes: Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out: Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs.   4. The Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the said bye election.

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  9. PRESS STATEMENT

    No. ECI/PN/74/2021 
    August 13, 2021
     
    Press statement
    Some media sites are reporting breach of data from ECI site.
    Assistant Electoral Roll Officers (AERO) are mandated to provide citizen- centric services including printing of Voter ID cards and timely distribution in line with the theme of “No voter to be left behind”. Data Entry Operator of one of the  AERO  office  had illegally shared his user id password with a private unauthorized service provider in Saharanpur’s Nakud sub-division to print some  Voter ID cards.
    Both these persons have been arrested. ECI database is absolutely safe and secure.

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  10. CEC inaugurates 11th Annual Meeting of  the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South  Asia (FEMBoSA) for 2021

    No. ECI/PN/73/2021                                    
    Dated:  August 11, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    CEC inaugurates 11th Annual Meeting of  the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South  Asia (FEMBoSA) for 2021
     
    ECI hands over Chair FEMBoSA role to Election Commission of Bhutan for 2021-22
    ECI & IIIDEM to continue to organize capacity building courses for FEMBoSA members
     
    Chief Election Commissioner of India and current Chairman, FEMBoSA Shri Sushil Chandra accompanied by Election Commissioners Shri Rajeev Kumar and Shri A.C. Pandey, today inaugurated the 11th Annual meeting of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) for the year 2021. The meeting in Virtual mode was hosted by the Election Commission of Bhutan. Along with India, delegations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka participated in the day-long meeting.

    Shri Sushil Chandra, CEC, as the outgoing  Chair of FEMBoSA, virtually handed over the Chairmanship of FEMBoSA to H.E. Dasho Sonam Topgay, Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan at today's meeting. On behalf of Election Commission of Bhutan, H.E. Major General Vetsop Namgyel, Ambassador of Bhutan to India accepted FEMBoSA Logo from Shri Sushil Chandra for Election Commission of Bhutan assuming the role of new Chair of FEMBoSA 2021-22. 

    In his address, Shri Sushil Chandra stated that FEMBoSA represents a very large part of the democratic world and is an active regional cooperation association of Election Management Bodies. Its logo with golden pearls stands for the eternal values of transparency, impartiality, democracy and cooperation. Shri Chandra shared India’s experience of conducting Assembly elections in Bihar in November 2020 and Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Puducherry in March/April 2021 during the tough, testing times of COVID 19 pandemic. Shri Chandra noted that technological advancements and its impact on election management is of critical importance for all of us. Technology has been extensively used to make elections more participative, accessible and transparent. 
    The theme of today's meeting was ‘Use of Technology in Elections’. Shri Sushil Chandra mentioned that keeping pace with the rapid strides of Technology, ECI has digitized many processes. Technology driven processes became all the more important in view of Covid 19 situation by helping minimize person-to-person contact.  Shri Chandra added that ECI looks forward to further strengthening its interaction with FEMBoSA member EMBs in promoting activities of the Forum as per its objectives, and empowering fellow EMBs through sharing the skills and capacity building efforts in cooperation with the Members.   He reiterated ECI’s commitment to ensure that the ideals and objectives enshrined in FEMBoSA Charter shall be carried further. 
    Shri Umesh Sinha, Secretary General, ECI  presented a Stewardship Report on the activities of FEMBoSA members during the period of ECI's Chairmanship for the period Jan. 2020 – July 2021, as per the Work Plan 2020 approved at the 10th FEMBoSA meeting held in New Delhi on 24 Jan. 2020. 

    Accepting the responsibility of Chairperson of the Forum, H.E. Dasho Sonam Topgay, CEC of Bhutan thanked the delegates for the trust and confidence reposed in the Election Commission of Bhutan. He assured FEMBoSA members that Bhutan shall work with utmost devotion to carry forward FEMBoSA's objectives to promote contact among the Election Management Bodies of the SAARC countries; share experiences with a view to learning from each other and cooperate with one another in enhancing capabilities of the Election Management Bodies towards conducting free and fair elections.
    A Thimphu Resolution was unanimously adopted by the FEMBoSA members to extend tenure of chairmanship to two years during the current pandemic situation. The resolution document noted the commendable efforts put in by ECI and IIIDEM in capacity development of members from FEMBoSA. IIIDEM and ECI would continue to organise customised programs for the needs of member countries with mutual cooperation and support
    In his closing remarks, Shri Sushil Chandra reiterated ECI’s commitment to the objectives and mission of FEMBoSA. Shri Chandra said FEMBoSA offers a meaningful forum for exchange on matters of mutual interests as we continue to share our learning and experiences in the field of electoral management to gain new insights and possible solutions to challenges faced. Sh. Chandra noted that deliberations today have been very purposeful, productive and participative. 

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  11. ECI holds a review meeting with CEOs of five states

    No. ECI/PN/72/2021
    Dated:  28th July, 2021
     
    ECI holds a review meeting with CEOs of five states
    The Election Commission of India held a review meeting on advance planning for forthcoming elections with the Chief Electoral Officers of the five states namely Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, today at Nirvachan Sadan. 

    The preliminary meeting held was focussed on various thematic issues including Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) at the polling stations, ease of registration arrangements for voter facilitation, electoral roll, timely resolution of grievances, arrangements of EVMs/VVPATs, postal ballot facility for senior citizens (80+) and PwDs, COVID Mitigation plan, training of polling staff and extensive voter outreach amongst others. 
    Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra in his address said that transparency and impartiality are the hallmark of the election process. He added that issues & challenges may be different in each state, but election planning needs to have a voter-centric approach and participative decision making involving all stakeholders.
    During his address, CEC Shri Sushil Chandra stressed on the significance of the purity of the electoral roll and asked the CEOs for expeditious redressal of all pending applications with regard to voter registration. He also emphasized on the need for rationalization of polling stations keeping in view the COVID 19 pandemic and reiterated the need to have basic facilities & infrastructure in all polling stations. Adding further, Shri Chandra mentioned that all logistical challenges in implementation of postal ballot facility to senior citizens (80+) and persons with disabilities need to be identified & resolved for its smooth & transparent implementation during the elections. 
    CEC Shri Sushil Chandra while interacting with the CEOs said that states should learn and adopt innovations and best practices in election management from the poll gone states or other States/UTs.
    Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey while interacting with the CEOs emphasized that periodic & comprehensive monitoring on each aspect of election should be done by all the poll going CEOs.  He highlighted the need to activate the ground level election machinery in the five states to start the preparations for the forthcoming elections. He mentioned that CEOs should focus on filling up infrastructure gaps & logistics requirement, updation & purification of electoral rolls and an extensive voter education & empowerment outreach program. 
    Secretary General Shri Umesh Sinha in his welcome address said that election planning is critical for election management and every election needs comprehensive and timely preparation. He added that this pre-planning meeting was organized for the states to seek the guidance of the commission in ensuring proper arrangements and further preparations for the upcoming elections in the five states. 
    The Chief Electoral Officers from the five states gave a detailed presentation on various aspect of conduct of election including health of electoral roll, availability of budget, manpower resources, SVEEP, planning, polling station arrangements and IT applications, etc. The meeting was also attended by all Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, Deputy Election Commissioner’s & other senior officials from the Election Commission of India.
     

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  12. Bye Election to the Council of States from West Bengal -reg.

    No. ECI/PN/71/2021 
    Dated: 16th July, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:    Bye Election to the Council of States from West Bengal -reg. 
    There is a casual vacancy in the Council of States from West Bengal as per following details: -
    State
    Name of Members
    Reason
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    West Bengal
    Shri Dinesh Trivedi
    Resignation
    12.02.2021
    02.04.2026
     
    2. The Commission has decided to hold bye-election to the Council of States from West Bengal to fill up the above-mentioned vacancy in accordance with the following schedule: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
    1.
    Issue of Notifications
      22nd  July, 2021 (Thursday)
    2.
    Last date of making nominations
    29th July, 2021 (Thursday)
    3.
    Scrutiny of nominations
    30th July, 2021  (Friday)
    4.
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    02nd August, 2021  (Monday)
    5.
    Date of Poll
    09th August, 2021 (Monday)
    6.
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am-04:00 pm
    7.
    Counting of Votes
    09th August, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.
    Date before which election shall be completed
    10th August, 2021 (Tuesday)
     
    3.  Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    I. Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity
    II. At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes:
      (a) Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out:
      (b) Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations
    III. Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs.  
    4. The Chief Secretary, West Bengal is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the said bye election.

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  13. PRESS RELEASE

    No. DC/PN/02/2021                                                  
    Dated: 30th June, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Today, Delimitation Commission under the Chairpersonship of   Justice (Retd.) Mrs. Ranjana Prakash Desai, in the presence of Shri Sushil Chandra, Chief Election Commissioner has decided to visit the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir from 6th July, 2021 (Tuesday) to 9th July, 2021 (Friday). During this period, the Commission will interact with political parties, public representatives and Union Territory administration officials including District Election Officers/ Deputy Commissioners of 20 districts of the Union Territory to gather first hand information and input concerning the on-going process of delimitation as mandated under the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.
    The Delimitation Commission was constituted in March 2020 and its term was extended by another year in March 2021 in view of the on-going pandemic. Third Member of the Commission is the State Election Commissioner of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The Commission also has five Associate Members nominated by the Speaker, Lok Sabha. The Commission already had series of meetings related to data/ map of the Districts/ Constituencies related to census 2011. Earlier, it invited all Associate Members for interaction, which were participated by two of the Associate Members. A number of representations has also been received on various aspects concerning delimitation from civil societies and members of public from the Union Territory. The Commission has already taken note of all such suggestions and directed that these may be deliberated further in the context of ground realities concerning delimitation. 
    The Commission expects that all stakeholders will cooperate in this endeavour and will provide valuable suggestions so that the task of delimitation is completed timely.

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  14. ECI releases an Atlas on General Elections 2019

    No. ECI/PN/70/2021
    Dated: 18th June, 2021
     
    ECI releases an Atlas on General Elections 2019  
    Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey released 'General Elections 2019 - An Atlas' on June 15, 2021.  Shri Chandra commended the officers of the Commission for compiling this innovative document and hoped that this would inspire academicians and researchers to further explore the vast landscape of the Indian elections.

    The Atlas encompasses all the data and statistical figures of this monumental event. It has 42 thematic maps and 90 tables depicting various facets of the elections. The Atlas also shares interesting facts, anecdotes and legal provisions related to the Indian elections.
    Since the first General Elections in 1951-52, the Commission has been publishing compilation of electoral data in the form of narrative and statistical books.  17th General Elections conducted in 2019 were the largest democratic exercise in human history which witnessed the participation of 61.468 crore voters at 10.378 lakh polling stations spread over 32 lakh square kilometre territory of India. 
    In Indian elections, electoral data is primarily collected during the preparation of Electoral Roll by the Electoral Registration Officers and also in the process of conduct of elections by the Returning Officers. This data is then collated by these statutory authorities. Thereafter, after the culmination of the electoral process, the Election Commission of India collects this electoral data and prepares various reports for compilation, record and dissemination purposes. 
    In October 2019, the Commission released statistical reports based on the electoral data made available by the Returning Officers of 543 Parliamentary Constituencies. The maps and tables as placed in this Atlas depict that information and provide for better understanding and appreciation of electoral diversity of the country. In addition to contextualizing the data, these detailed maps reveal electoral patterns at various levels as well as indicate its spatial and temporal settings. With an aim to better visualize and represent the electoral data, this Atlas serves as an informative and illustrative document that brings to light the nuances of the Indian electoral process and empowers readers to analyse trends and changes. 

    The Atlas brings out salient features such as data of the 23 States and UTs where women voting percentage was more than the male voting percentage; information about the largest & smallest parliamentary constituency in terms of electors, candidates and performance of political parties amongst other parameters.
    The Atlas depicts the electors data in different categories and through various comparison charts like Elector Gender Ratio and electors in different age categories. The 2019 General Elections witnessed the lowest gender gap in the history of Indian elections. The Elector Gender Ratio which has shown a positive trend since 1971 was 926 in 2019 General Elections.
    The Atlas also compares the average number of electors per polling station in different states during 2014 & 2019 General Elections. The Election Commission of India set up over 10 lakh polling stations in General Elections 2019 with the lowest number of electors per polling station (365) in Arunachal Pradesh.   
    Amongst the various other categories, the atlas compares the number of contesting candidates in the General elections since 1951. In the 2019 General Elections, there were 8054 qualified contesting candidates after rejection of nominations & withdrawals from a total of 11692 nominations filed across the country.
    To check out the details, the e-Atlas is available at https://eci.gov.in/ebooks/eci-atlas/index.html. Suggestions, if any, can be shared with the EDMD division of the Commission.

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  15. ECI organises a virtual conference of Chief Electoral Officers

    No. ECI/PN/69/2021
    Dated: 15th June, 2021
    ECI organises a virtual conference of Chief Electoral Officers
    CEC emphasises voter centric services to be delivered swiftly & efficiently
    General Elections 2019- An ATLAS released during the Conference
    Election Commission of India today organized a virtual conference of the Chief Electoral Officers of all the States and UTs. The conference primarily focused on key thematic issues like smooth, efficient and voter friendly services, updation/purity of the electoral roll, integration of IT Applications, extensive voter outreach program, Media & Communication strategy, Expenditure monitoring, legal issues, EVM and VVPAT storage related infrastructure and training & capacity building.

    While addressing the CEOs, Chief Election Commissioner Sh. Sushil Chandra stressed the importance of such periodic review meetings for revamping back-end systems so that voter centric services can be delivered swiftly and efficiently on priority. Shri Chandra said that such CEO review meetings would be institutionalized and will be organized more frequently. Shri Chandra emphasized that CEOs should make sustained year round efforts to engage with new voters for registration and other services like correction, change of address etc for existing voters and awareness of hassle free facilitation platforms of Election Commission. He reiterated the importance of an updated and error free electoral roll. Shri Chandra asked the CEOs to share the best practices of the various innovative steps taken by the poll-gone states for learning and customization for future elections.

    Election Commissioner Sh. Rajiv Kumar in his address said that CEOs of the recently poll-gone states should suggest ways of scaling up/integrating their successful best practices such as mobile apps for absentee voters, criminal antecedents and randomization of polling /police personnel. He emphasized that protocols of SOPs for storage and movement of EVMs should be strictly adhered to and monitored by CEOs. He added that CEOs should ensure periodic physical inspection of EVM storage warehouses. Shri Kumar also said that CEOs should send their suggestions and ideas for new reforms to be taken up in the identified verticals being examined by the Core Committee.
    Election Commissioner Sh. Anup Chandra Pandey commended the CEOs for their constructive suggestions. He said that the non-election period should be utilized by CEOs to consolidate and fill up gaps of manpower resources and Infrastructure, plan for communication & awareness activities and step up training & capacity building as per their state specific needs.
    Secretary General Sh. Umesh Sinha reminded the CEOs that during the non-election period, the core work of purifying electoral rolls, redressal of grievances of voters, outreach activities for engaging with young & future voters through Electoral Literacy Clubs and other SVEEP measures, staffing & budgeting matters, training of CEO office teams should be taken up on priority so that CEO offices remain in full readiness for forthcoming elections.
    Senior DEC Shri Dharmendra Sharma, DECs Shri Sudeep Jain, Shri Chandra Bhushan Kumar and Shri Nitesh Vyas also interacted with CEOs on their specific thematic issues.
    During the conference, Chief Electoral Officers of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal shared their experiences and lessons from conducting elections during the pandemic. The CEOs of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand& Uttar Pradesh particularly briefed the Commission about various challenges, innovations and suggestions for upcoming assembly elections in their respective states.

    The Commission today during the review meeting also e-launched the ‘Atlas on General Elections 2019’. The Atlas encompasses all the data and statistical figures of this monumental event. This Atlas includes 42 thematic maps and 90 tables depicting various facets of the elections.The General Election 2019 Atlas serves as an informative and illustrative document that brings to light the nuances of the Indian electoral process. The maps and tables depict information in pictorial manner for better understanding and appreciation of the electoral diversity of the country. The Atlas brings out salient features such as data of the 23 states and UTs where women voting percentage was more than the male voting percentage; information about the largest parliamentary constituency in terms of electors, candidates and performance of political parties amongst other parameters. The e-Atlas is available at https://eci.gov.in/ebooks/eci-atlas/index.html. Any suggestions can be shared with the EDMD division of the Commission.


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  16. Shri Anup Chandra Pandey takes over as new Election Commissioner

    No. ECI/PN/68/2021
    Dated: 9th June, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Shri Anup Chandra Pandey takes over as new Election Commissioner
    Shri Anup Chandra Pandey today assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India. Shri Pandey joins the Election Commission of India as second Election Commissioner in a three- member body headed by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar.

    Born on 15th February 1959, Shri Anup Chandra Pandey has been a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service Officer. During the span of about 37 years of distinguished Government of India service, Shri Pandey has worked in various Ministries & Departments at the Centre and his state cadre of Uttar Pradesh.
    Shri Anup Chandra Pandey, a career bureaucrat holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College and a Master’s degree in Materials Management from Panjab University. Shri Anup Chandra who has a keen interest in study of history holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Ancient Indian History from Magadh University.
    Shri Pandey, superannuated as Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh in August 2019. Prior to joining the Election Commission of India, Shri Pandey served as a Member National Green Tribunal Oversight Committee, Uttar Pradesh.
    Under his administrative leadership as Chief Secretary, the state successfully organized the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj and Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas at Varanasi in 2019.
    Earlier, Shri Anup Chandra served as Industrial Development Commissioner of the state and successfully organized a mega Investor’s Summit at Lucknow in 2018. He also introduced various policy reforms in the industries and business sector including single window NiveshMitra Portal.
    As Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), Government of Uttar Pradesh. Shri Pandey’s endeavours led to successful designing, planning and implementation of Uttar Pradesh Farm Loan Waiver Scheme.
    Shri Pandey has held diverse portfolios during his deputation with the central government.  He served as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour &Employment, Government of India where he represented the country at various international forums like G20 and International Labour Organization. He was also Director in Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Department of Consumer Affairs.
    Shri Pandey has a keen interest in writing and has authored a book titled “Governance in Ancient India” which explores the evolution, nature, scope, functions and all related aspects of ancient Indian Civil Service from the Rig Vedic period to 650 AD.

    (Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sushil Chandra, and Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar, formally welcoming Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey)

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  17. Bye Election to the Council of States -Deferment of election – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/67/2021 
    Dated: 28th May 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE 
    Bye Election to the Council of States -Deferment of election – reg. 
    There is one casual vacancy in the Council of States as per the details below:
    Name of State
    Name of the member
    Cause of vacancy
    Date of Vacancy
    Term upto
    Kerala
    Shri Jose K. Mani
    Resignation
    11.01.2021
    01.07.2024
    2.  As per the provisions of Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the vacancy are required to be filled, through bye election within six months from date of occurrence of vacancy, provided that remainder of the term in relation to the vacancy is one year or more. 
    3.   The Commission has reviewed the matter today and has decided that due to outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, it would not be appropriate to hold the said bye election till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive to hold above mentioned bye-election. 
    4.  The Commission will take a decision in the matter at appropriate time in the future after taking inputs from the concerned states and assessing the pandemic situation from mandated authorities like NDMA/SDMA.

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  18. ECI push for wide ranging Reforms

    No. ECI/PN/66/2021 
    Dated: 13th May 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE 
    ECI push for wide ranging Reforms
     Election Commission of India in furtherance for continuing reforms process has decided to set up a Core Committee headed by Secretary General, ECI to identify learning, experiences, shortcomings from recently Poll-gone States of Assam, Bihar, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and UT of Puducherry.
     The committee is broadly tasked to identify: 
    1.   Shortcomings /gaps in ECI regulatory regime, if any and the gaps in implementation and enforcement at the level of CEOs/ District officials.
    2.   Need for Strengthening legal/ regulatory framework enabling  ECI to more effectively ensure compliance of guidelines / directions including the Covid norms;
    3.   Measures to ensure discharge of responsibility, like enforcement of covid protocol by the agencies/ authorities mandated under respective regulatory/ legal regime to do so irrespective of and in addition to ECI guidelines;
    4.   Gaps, if any in the guidelines or at implementation level in MCC / regulatory regime leading to avoidance/ non-compliance by the Candidates/ Political parties’ stakeholders; 
    5.   Measures to further strengthen the expenditure management regulation for inducement free election;  
    6.   Shortcomings in existing framework in providing protection to electoral machinery from possibility of reprisal after elections;  
    7.   Measures required for strengthening the offices of electoral machinery at the State level namely the offices of CEOs, DEOs and ROs; 
    8.   Issues related to Electoral Roll, Voter List and delivery of EPICs; 
    9.   Gaps in Communication strategy, if any.
     The Committee has also been asked to collate, analyse experiences, best practices across States/UT and suggest way forward and further reforms required.
     DECs of the ECI and CEOs of recent poll gone States and few select Special Observers and Observers will be members of the Committee.  While finalising its recommendations, the Committee will also take inputs from State Nodal Officers of different divisions like Police, Expenditure, Health authorities as well as from some DEOs, SPs & ROs identified by CEOs, Polling officials, BLOs about the issues and challenges faced at the grass root levels.
     The Committee will also examine the recommendations of the nine Working Groups (which were set up post Lok Sabha Elections, 2019) in light of experiences in the Poll gone States. The Commission had formed Nine working groups of CEOs and Commission Officers covering various  facets of election process including Electoral Roll issues, Polling Stations management, MCC, Voting processes & Materials inventory, Capacity Building, IT applications, Expenditure Management, SVEEP and Media interface as also Electoral Reforms.
     Recommendations of the Core Committee will help the Commission to chalk out way forward for forthcoming polls in future.  The Core Committee has been asked to submit its report within a month.

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  19. Biennial Elections to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana respectively by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs)-Deferment of elections-reg.

    No. ECI/PN/65/2021 
    Dated: 13th May 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Biennial Elections to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana respectively by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs)-Deferment of elections-reg.
     The term of office of 03 (Three) members of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council and 06 (Six) members of Telangana Legislative Council elected by the members of respective Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) are expiring on 31.05.2021 and 03.06.2021 respectively as per the details below:
    Class of Constituency
    Date of Retirement
    No. of Seats
    Electors
    Andhra Pradesh
    By MLAs
    31.05.2021
    03
    Members of Legislative Assembly
    Telangana
    By MLAs
    03.06.2021
    06
    Members of Legislative Assembly
    2. As per the provisions of Section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the seats of State Legislative Council which are going to be vacant on expiration of the term of the members, are required to be filled up by holding biennial election before the said expiration of the term.

    3. The Commission has reviewed the matter today and has decided that due to outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, it would not be appropriate
    to hold biennial election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana respectively till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive to hold these biennial elections. 
    4. The Commission will take a decision in the matter at appropriate time in the future after taking inputs from the concerned states and assessing the pandemic situation from mandated authorities like NDMA/SDMA.

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  20. ECI decides to defer bye-elections of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies in various States/UT in view of Pandemic-Regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/64/2021                                                    
    Dated: 5th May 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: ECI decides to defer bye-elections of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies in various States/UT in view of Pandemic- Regarding.
    There are notified three vacancies in Parliamentary Constituencies namely Dadra & Nagar Haveli, 28-Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh) & 2-Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) and eight vacancies in Assembly Constituencies namely 01-Kalka and 46-Ellenabad in Haryana, 155-Vallabhnagar in Rajasthan, 33-Sindgi in Karnataka, 47-Rajabala and 13-Mawryngkneng (ST) in Meghalaya, 08-Fatehpur in Himachal Pradesh and 124-Badvel (SC) in Andhra Pradesh. There are few more vacancies of seats for which reports and notifications are awaited and being confirmed.
     2. As per the provisions of section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the vacancies are required to be filled, through bye-elections within six months from the date of occurrence of vacancy, provided that the remainder of the term in relation to the vacancy is one year or more.
     3. The Commission has reviewed the matter today and has decided that due to outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country it would not be appropriate to hold bye-elections till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive to hold these bye-elections. 
     4. The Commission will take a decision in the matter at appropriate time in the future after taking inputs from the concerned states and assessing the pandemic situation from mandated authorities like NDMA/SDMA.

    489 downloads

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  21. Election Commission unanimous that there should not be restriction on media reporting.

    No. ECI/PN/63/2021                                                    
    Dated: 5th May 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Election Commission unanimous that there should not be restriction on media reporting.
    The Election Commission of India has taken note of recent narrative relating to its position in relation to media. The Commission has also come across certain press reports in the same regard. The Commission always has appropriate deliberations before any decisions are taken.  
    In the context of involvement of media, the Commission wishes to clarify that it stands sincerely committed to its faith in free media.   The Commission as a whole and each one of its members recognise the positive role played by media in the conduct of all elections in the past and present and in strengthening electoral democracy in the country. The Election Commission was unanimous that before Hon’ble Supreme Court there should not be any prayer for restriction on media reporting.  
    The Commission very specially recognises media’s role in enhancing effectiveness of election management and in reinforcing transparency from the very beginning of election process till the end, including transparent coverage during all processes, campaigning and from polling station level to counting. ECI’s approach on the collaboration with media is that of a natural ally and remains unchanged.
     

    75 downloads

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  22. Matter of Recounting in Nandigram AC: RO is the Final Authority under Law 

    No. ECI/PN/62/2021
    Dated: 4th May, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Matter of Recounting in Nandigram AC: RO is the Final Authority under Law
    Certain sections of media have reported about the matter of recounting in Nandigram AC. Returning Officer (RO) of an Assembly Constituency performs statutory functions under the RP Act, 1951in quasi-judicial capacity independently. Whether it is nomination, polling or counting, the RO acts strictly in accordance with the extant electoral laws, instructions and guidelines of the ECI.
    2.  As far as the media reporting on ‘recount’ concerning Nandigram AC is concerned, as per Rule 63 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, which lays down the process of dealing with recount request,it,inter alia, states,
    On such an application being made the returning officer shall decide the matter and may allow the application in whole or in part or may reject it in toto if it appears to him to be frivolous or unreasonable.
    In the light of the above, the RO takes a decision which can only be challenged through Election Petition under section 80 of the RP Act, 1951, which provides that,
    No election shall be called in question except by an election petition presented in accordance with the provisions of this Part. 
    3.  After the counting in Nandigram AC, the election agent of a particular candidate requested for recount, which was rejected by the RO, through a speaking order, on the basis of material facts available before him in accordance with the provisions of Rule 63, as above, and declared the result. In such a case, only legal remedy is to file an EP before the High Court.   
    4. CEO West Bengal, in this matter of Nandigram AC, has made available a copy of the Order of the RO and other relevant material related to counting. General Observer for the AC has also furnished a report in the matter. From the available material before the Commission, following facts reveal in respect of counting held on 2 May, 2021 in Nandigram AC: 
    I. Each counting table had one micro observer.  Their reports never indicated any impurity of counting process on their respective table. 
    II. The RO caused the entries of votes polled by each candidate after each round to be written on the display board which could be easily seen by the counting agents. No doubt was raised on the result of round-wise counting. This enabled the RO to proceed uninterruptedly with the counting of votes.
     III. On the basis of Form-17C duly completed by the counting supervisors, Returning Officer prepared a round-wise statement.  In addition, on the computer installed in the Counting Hall, parallel tabulation work was also done in an Excel sheet to counter check any human error.
     IV. A copy of each of the rounds’ results was shared with all the counting agents.
     V.  After every round, counting agents signed the result sheets.
     5.   Election related Officers on ground perform in extremely competitive political environment diligently with full transparency and fairness and therefore attribution of any motive in such cases is not desirable.
    6.  On the basis of media reports on undue pressure on the RO Nandigram, Commission directed the Chief Secretary West Bengal on 3 May 2021 to provide adequate security, which State Government has now provided.
    7. The Commission has further directed CEO West Bengal to ensure the safe custody of all election records including polled EVM/VVPAT, videorecording, statutory papers, counting records etc. strictly in accordance with laid down guidelines/instructions of the Commission. He will also coordinate with the State Government for additional security measures at such locations, if required.

    517 downloads

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  23. Deferment of elections in 03 ACs due to surge in COVID-19-reg.

    No. ECI/PN/61/2021
    Dated: 3rd May 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject- Deferment of elections in 03 ACs due to surge in COVID-19-reg.
    The adjourned poll in 110-Pipli AC (bye-election) of Odisha and 58-Jangipur, 56-Samserganj assembly constituencies of West Bengal due to death of contesting candidates of recognized political parties, are scheduled to be held on 16.05.2021.
    2. Commission after taking all material facts and inputs of CEO West Bengal and CEO Odisha in consideration and taking note of lockdown/restrictions under Disaster Management Act, 2005, as issued by NDMA/SDMA has decided to defer the scheduled poll and extend the period of elections in 110-Pipli AC of Odisha and 58-Jangipur & 56-Samserganj assembly constituencies of West Bengal. Fresh notification will be issued after assessing the pandemic situation.
    3. It is also directed that MCC in these Assembly Constituencies is hereby lifted from immediate effect and will be in operation from next date of notification.

    216 downloads

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  24. POLL GONE STATES/UT GEAR UP FOR FOOLPROOF COUNTING WHILE HONOURING COVID PROTOCOL ARRANGEMENTS

    POLL GONE STATES/UT GEAR UP FOR FOOLPROOF COUNTING WHILE HONOURING COVID PROTOCOL ARRANGEMENTS

    946 downloads

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  25. Arrangements for the dissemination of trends and results for General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Puducherry & Bye-Elections to PC/AC of various States, 2021 on 2nd May 2021.

    No. ECI/PN/59/2021 
    Dated: 1st May 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE 
    Subject: Arrangements for the dissemination of trends and results for General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Puducherry & Bye-Elections to PC/AC of  various States, 2021  on 2nd May 2021. 
    The trends and results for General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Puducherry & Bye-Elections of various States, 2021  will be available w.e.f 8 AM on 02.05.2021, from the following places apart from all the counting centres:
                1. https://results.eci.gov.in The results are displayed on this website of the Election Commission of India and are updated every few minutes to display the current round wise trends and results of each constituency .
                2. The trends and results are also accessible through the “Voter helpline” Mobile App available at Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
    The website / mobile app will display information filled in the system by the Returning Officers from the respective Counting Centers. The EC will be displaying the information as being filled in the systems by the Returning Officers from their respective Counting Centers. The final data for each PC/AC will be shared in Form 20 only.

    182 downloads

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ECI Main Website

ECI Main websiteThe Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. The Election Commission operates under the authority of Constitution per Article 324, and subsequently enacted Representation of the People Act. 

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