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  1. CEC Shri Sushil Chandra calls for EMBs to ensure Accessible & Inclusive elections

    No. ECI/PN/99/2021                             
    Dated: Nov 26, 2021 
    Press Note
    CEC Shri Sushil Chandra calls for EMBs to ensure Accessible & Inclusive elections
    ECI aims to widen service delivery at doorstep for 80+ and PwD voters 
    ECI hosts International Webinar on
    ‘Enhancing electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters: Sharing Best Practices and New Initiatives’
     
    The Election Commission of India today organized an international webinar on the theme ‘Enhancing electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters: Sharing Best Practices and New Initiatives’ at New Delhi. The webinar which was organized to mark the completion of two years of Chairmanship of the ECI at A-WEB was attended by over 100 delegates from 24 countries, 4 international organizations and 20 diplomats. 

    As the current Chairman of A-WEB, Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sushil Chandra during his keynote address said that this webinar provided an excellent opportunity to learn from the best practices and experiences of other Election Management Bodies (EMBs), to identify and work towards removing barriers to ensure truly accessible, inclusive and participative elections. 
    Taking note of the historical perspective of barriers and challenges faced by women in participation in elections in India, Sh. Chandra stated that after 7 decades and 17 General Elections since Independence, women's participation in India has exceeded that of men and stood at more than 67% in the 2019 General Election. Gender gap, a crucial parameter, which was -16.71% in 1962, has not only closed but reversed to +0.17% in 2019. In fact India has witnessed a 235.72% increase in female electors since the 1971 elections. Sh. Chandra highlighted various initiatives taken by the ECI to enhance women participation including associating more women as polling booth officials, larger number of All Women Managed Polling Stations, crèche facility at Polling Stations, separate toilets and waiting area at the polling booths, ensuring ease of registration with women Block level Officers motivating women in their own socio-cultural milieu, amongst others.

    During his address, Shri Sushil Chandra also elaborated on the concept of Absentee voter facilitation, introduced by ECI in 2020 to ensure voting facility at the doorstep especially for 80+ senior citizens, PwDs and COVID-affected voters. He added that such postal ballot facility had been successfully implemented across six state assembly elections including Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and UT Puducherry, which had a cumulative elector base of 73.6 million. He highlighted that, in the last five state assembly elections, 4.5 times higher electors participated in the electoral process through postal ballots and there is scope for widening the outreach and facilitation efforts. He added that there are around 15 million 80+ electors today in the country.
    Pointing out the infrastructural & attitudinal challenges faced by Persons with Disabilities, Sh. Chandra urged all the participants to have ‘Accessibility focus’ as part of the design itself for any technology or service adopted by any EMB rather than being added on later as an afterthought. He cited various initiatives taken by ECI like PwD app, provision of wheelchair, volunteer assistance, Braille EPIC card, Braille signage in EVMs, free transport to and from polling station, priority voting and provision of AMFs to provide a hassle-free experience to PwD electors.
    Addressing the gathering, Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar stressed on the initiatives taken by the Commission to enhance the participation of Women & Person with Disabilities  in the electoral process. He underscored that ECI has mapped over 7.7 million PwD voters so far which is a remarkable increase of 15.28 per cent from the Lok Sabha Election 2019.  While highlighting the enhanced women participation in the electoral process from 78 million women in the first GE to over 294 million in 2019 LS elections, he stated that even in terms of representation, the number of women elected to the lower house of the parliament increased from 24 in the first General Election  to 78 in 2019 LS elections. 

    While addressing the participants, Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey stated that Technology has been a game changer in election management and has had a significant impact upon the electoral landscape vis-a-vis accessibility. Taking note of the  challenges faced to ensure inclusive & accessible elections during the COVID pandemic, Sh. Pandey said that detailed protocols were devised and implemented to distribute and collect forms from senior citizens and PwDs at their homes as part of the postal ballot facility. He said that ECI is committed to inclusive electoral practices to enhance participation and extend facilitation to PwD voters. 
    Welcoming the delegates, Secretary General Sh. Umesh Sinha said that inclusion of all categories of voters in electoral participation is the essence of universal adult suffrage. He also touched upon the ECI voter education programme SVEEP aimed at reaching out to the vast voter population in a comprehensive and systematic manner through different modes and media. ECI’s endeavour is to speak to PwDs in their language, to hear what they wish to convey and see all those invisible barriers that they find difficult to circumvent, he underlined. 
    Nearly hundred delegates from 24 countries namely Bangladesh, Bhutan,  Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia,   Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Liberia,   Malawi,  Mauritius,   Mongolia,   Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands,   South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname,  Taiwan,   Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zambia and 4 international organizations - International IDEA,  International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) and European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) across the world and 20 diplomats attended today’s Webinar.
    At the Webinar, presentations made by Mauritius,   Romania and  Republic of Korea, Taiwan, The Philippines, Cambodia and IFES – Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bhutan, India and Brazil showcased best practices and initiatives taken by them to enhance electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters.  

    Among publications released at the Webinar were the October 2021 issue of A-WEB India Journal of Elections; October 2021 issue of ‘VoICE International’ Magazine and Publication on ‘Participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities and senior citizen voters in Elections’. An International Video presentation on facilitation and participation of Women, PwDs and senior citizens in elections was also unveiled at the Webinar.
    An exhibition on various initiatives taken by Election Management Bodies to enhance the electoral participation of women, PwDs and senior citizens was also displayed during the international webinar.

     

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  2. ECI to host International Webinar on ‘Enhancing electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters: Sharing Best Practices and New Initiatives’

    No. ECI/PN/98/2021                                                    
    Dated: Nov 25, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI to host International Webinar on
    ‘Enhancing electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters: Sharing Best Practices and New Initiatives’

     
    Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is the largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide with 117 EMBs as Members & 16 Regional Associations/Organizations as Associate Members.   Election Commission of India has been the Chair of A-WEB since September 3, 2019 for a term of three years. To mark the completion of two years of Chairmanship of the A-WEB, Election Commission of India is organizing an International Webinar on 26th November 2021 on the theme ‘Enhancing electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters: Sharing Best Practices and New Initiatives’. 
    Nearly hundred delegates from 24 countries across the world namely Bangladesh, Bhutan,  Cambodia,   Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia,   Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Liberia,   Malawi,  Mauritius,   Mongolia,   Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands,   South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname,  Taiwan,   Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zambia and 4 international organizations - International IDEA,  International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) and European Centre for Elections are going to participate in the Webinar.  
    Nearly 20 diplomats including Ambassador of Uzbekistan & High Commissioners of Fiji, Maldives, Mauritius are also scheduled to attend the Webinar.
    At the Webinar, presentations will be made by participating EMBs and organizations on best practices and initiatives taken by them to enhance electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters.   Session I will be co-chaired by Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of India Shri Sushil Chandra, along with H.E.  Mr. Mohammad Irfan Abdool Rahman, Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius and H.E. Mr. K.M. Nurul Huda, Chief Election Commissioner of Bangladesh. 
    Session II will be co-chaired by Hon’ble Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar and H.E. Mr. Dasho Ugyen Chewang, Commissioner, Election Commission of Bhutan.   
    Session III will be co-chaired by Hon’ble Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey and H.E. Mr. M.M. Mohamad, Member, Election Commission of Sri Lanka. The Concluding Session will be addressed by Mr.  Peter Wardle, Adviser, Cambridge Conference on Electoral Democracy; Mr.  Peter Erben, Principal Adviser IFES; H.E. Dr. Nomsa Masuku, Commissioner, Electoral Commission of South Africa on behalf of Chairperson, EC South Africa and Vice-Chairperson of A-WEB.
    Three publications will be released at the Webinar:  October 2021 issue of A-WEB India Journal of Elections; October 2021 issue of ‘VoICE International’ Magazine and Publication on ‘Participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities and senior citizen voters in Elections’. Also, an International Video presentation on facilitation and participation of Women, PwDs and senior citizens in elections will be unveiled at the Webinar.
    An India A-WEB Centre has been established at New Delhi subsequent to the decision taken by A-WEB Executive board meeting held at Bengaluru on September 2, 2019.  ECI has provided all the resources for this Centre for world class documentation, research and training for sharing the best practices and capacity building of officials of A-WEB members. This International Webinar will provide a good opportunity to all the participants to exchange ideas and learn from each other’s experience of the best practices and initiatives taken to enhance electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters. 
     

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  3. ECI organizes conference of Chief Electoral Officers from all States/UTs

    No. ECI/PN/97/2021   
    Dated: Nov 22, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI organizes conference of Chief Electoral Officers from all States/UTs
    The Election Commission of India today organized a conference with the Chief Electoral Officers of all States/UTs in New Delhi. The conference was organized to discuss and review various thematic issues related to Electoral Roll, Polling Stations, ongoing Special Summary Revision, IT Applications, timely resolution of grievances, EVMs/VVPATs, training & capacity building of polling staff, media & communication & extensive voter outreach program amongst others. 

    During his address, CEC Shri Sushil Chandra stressed on the significance of effectiveness and visibility of CEOs, as CEOs represent the Commission in the States. He asked CEOs to ensure  purity of the electoral roll, availability of Assured Minimum Facilities and to ensure better facilities at all Polling Booths for all voters. He asked the CEOs for expeditious redressal of all pending applications especially with regard to voter registration. He reiterated that all efforts should be made to ensure better voter experience in reality. He added that the CEOs should have regular interaction with political parties to redress their grievances, if any.
    CEC Shri Sushil Chandra during his address added that the objective of this conference is to identify the gaps and challenges to ensure instructions of the Commission are implemented uniformly in all States /UTs across the country. CEC also emphasised that new initiatives and best practices by the CEOs for election related activities should be regularly disseminated through media for enhanced outreach.
    Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar while interacting with the Chief Electoral Officers said that the legal and regulatory framework of the elections is quite robust, however the implementation of various instructions of the Commission at the field is very critical. He stressed that CEOs need to be innovative, more active and should learn from each other's best practices and challenges. He urged CEOs to regularly interact with DEOs for coordination and monitoring and visit the field for critical feedback to ensure necessary course corrections. 
    Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey stressed upon Training & Capacity Building of BLOs as effectiveness of ECI’s activities depends upon the effective implementation by field level election officials. He also emphasized on the involvement of different stakeholders and officials in the field for outreach & SVEEP activities at the ground level throughout the year even in non-election period.   He emphasized that CEOs need to ensure that correct information and facts are regularly shared with local media for enhanced outreach. 
    Secretary General Shri Umesh Sinha in his welcome address stated that this conference is being organized to understand the field level functioning,  coordination with different stakeholders and implementation of instructions of the Commission. He stressed that CEOs  need to be active throughout the year and ensure  regular engagement with election officials for assessment and necessary course corrections. 

    During the conference the Commission today released  ‘Compendium of Cases on Election Law’. The Commission also released a Coffee Table Book “Conduct of General Elections to the Assam Legislative Assembly 2021”, and a short video titled “Call of Duty” developed by CEO Assam. The video highlights various challenges faced by election officials in setting up polling stations in remote & difficult terrains. A voter anthem titled “Power of 18” prepared by CEO Manipur for the new voters was also released during the Conference. 
    A multimedia exhibition of SVEEP activities for Special Summary Revision of Photo Electoral Roll 2022(SSR2022) by States /UTs was also displayed during the conference. Various audio visual creatives, print advertisements and messages from State Icons for SSR 2022 received from States /UTs  were showcased. 

    The conference was attended by Chief Electoral Officers from all States/UTs, Senior DECs, DECs, DG and other senior officers from the Commission. A separate one day review meeting with all the poll going states is also scheduled at ECI tomorrow to discuss various matters related to election management. 

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  4. ECI releases five International Training Modules on Election Management 

    No. ECI/PN/96/2021                                              
    Dated: 17th November, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI releases five International Training Modules on Election Management 
    Modules developed by IIIDEM in collaboration with IFES
    The Election Commission of India today released five International Training Modules on Planning for Elections, Political Finance, Voter Registration, Election Technology, and Political Parties & EMBs. This is part of a total ten modules under preparation by India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) in collaboration with International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The Modules were virtually launched by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioners Shri Rajiv Kumar & Shri Anup Chandra Pandey, along with the President, IFES, Mr. Anthony Banbury and his team joining from Washington, through a video conference. 

    CEC Shri Sushil Chandra in his address emphasized that the Election Commission of India places high value on innovation and technological up-gradation to ensure meticulous, accurate, voter friendly implementation of election processes by committed, competent, credible and skilled managers. Shri Sushil Chandra welcomed the development of these well-informed updated subject specialized modules for international trainees who will be trained at IIIDEM. He appreciated the wide range of topics being covered to address the key dimensions in any election management process.
     Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar in his message spoke about the importance of these module designs, considering the ever-increasing challenges in various aspects of election administration as seen internationally and faced by the Election Management Bodies worldwide. He noted that the modules are designed in a versatile pattern, so as to render them compatible with face-to-face, online and e-Learning training hybrid modes.
    Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey highlighted that the Modules can serve as informative material for understanding the process of election management on a wide range of topics of significant importance towards training and capacity development in preparation of election management plans, observation procedures, electoral technology, electoral systems, legal framework.
    The President of IFES, Mr. Anthony Banbury gave a brief overview of the IFES-ECI partnership & the modules. He assured ECI of IFES-IIIDEM continuing partnership in knowledge sharing. 

    The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is a Washington DC based non-governmental organisation which supports citizens’ right to participate in free and fair elections. ECI had initially signed a MoU in May 2012  with IFES for developing training modules and capacity building.  Recently in 2019, after the visit of the then CEC to Washington, IFES agreed to update the eight existing International Training modules and create two new modules namely Political Parties & EMBs and Social Media use in Elections. Contract for this was signed on August 5, 2020.
    DG IIIDEM and Senior DEC Shri Dharmendra Sharma also informed that the Hon’ble Commission has approved the translations of portions of these modules into Spanish, French and Portuguese as part of the commitment made by the then CEC of India in September 2019 as chair of A-Web, in response to request of several Least Developed Countries for IIIDEM to embark upon “foreign language assisted modules”.
     
     
     
     
     

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  5. PRESS NOTE- CORRIGENDUM

    No. ECI/PN/95/2021
    Dated: 09th November, 2021
    PRESS NOTE- CORRIGENDUM 
    Subject:    Biennial Elections to 11 sitting members of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from 08 Local Authorities’ Constituencies –reg.
    In the table shown at page no. 1 of the Commission’s Press Note No. ECI/PN/91/2021, dated 09th November, 2021, the entries at Sl. No. 4 and Sl. No. 8 under column ‘Name of Member’ may be read as –
    ‘Annam Satish Prabhakar
    (Vacant w.e.f. 10.07.2019 due to non availability of desired electoral roll)’
          and
    ‘Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy
    (Vacant w.e.f. 14.03.2019 due to non availability of desired electoral roll)’ , respectively

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  6. Biennial Election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from 05 Local Authorities’ Constituencies for 06 seats  due to retirement of sitting members on 01.01.2022–reg. 

    No. ECI/PN/94/2021
    Dated: 09th November, 2021
                                                                  
    PRESS NOTE 
    Sub:-  Biennial Election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from 05 Local Authorities’ Constituencies for 06 seats due to retirement of sitting members on 01.01.2022–reg. 
    The term of office of the 08 sitting members of Maharashtra Legislative Council from 07 Local Authorities’ Constituencies, is going to expire on 01.01.2022 as per details given below:
    MAHARASHTRA
    S.No.
    Name of Local Authorities’ Constituency
    No of Seat(s)
    Name of the Member
    Date of Retirement
    1.      
    Mumbai
     
    02
    Kadam Ramdas Gangaram
    01.01.2022
    Ashok Arjunrao alias Bhai Jagtap
    2.      
    Kolhapur
    01
    Patil Satej Alias Bunty D.
    01.01.2022
    3.      
    Dhule-cum-Nandurbar
    01
    Amrishbhai Rasiklal Patel
    01.01.2022
    4.      
    Akola-cum- Buldhana -cum- Washim
    01
    Gopikisan Radhakisan Bajoriya
    01.01.2022
    5.      
    Nagpur
    01
    Vyas Girishchandra Bachharaj
    01.01.2022
    6.      
    Solapur
    01
    Prashant Prabhakar Paricharak
    01.01.2022
    7.      
    Ahmednagar
    01
    Arunkaka Balbhimrao Jagtap
    01.01.2022
     2. With regard to Local Authorities’ Constituencies election, the Election Commission has laid down the guidelines that if atleast 75% of the local authorities in a local authorities’ constituency are functioning, and in addition at least 75% of the electors out of the total electorate of the constituency are available, then electorate is treated as available for electing representative(s) to the legislative council. These guidelines of the Election Commission got the approval of Supreme Court of India in Election Commission of India Vs Shivaji and Ors (AIR 1988 SC 61).
    3. As per the information received from the CEO, Maharashtra vide letter dated 25.10.2021 the existence of constituent local body functioning is more than 75% in 5 out of 07 Local Authorities’ Constituencies (except Solapur and Ahmednagar Local Authorities’ Constituencies).
    4. Now, the Commission has decided to hold biennial election to Maharashtra Legislative Council from following 05 Local Authorities’ Constituencies for 06 seats:-
    S.No.
    Name of Local Authorities’ Constituency
    No of Seat(s)
    Name of the retiring Member
    1.      
    Mumbai
     
    02
    Kadam Ramdas Gangaram
    Ashok Arjunrao alias Bhai Jagtap
    2.      
    Kolhapur
    01
    Patil Satej Alias Bunty D.
    3.      
    Dhule-cum-Nandurbar
    01
    Amrishbhai Rasiklal Patel
    4.      
    Akola-cum- Buldhana-cum-Washim
    01
    Gopikisan Radhakisan Bajoriya
    5.      
    Nagpur
    01
    Vyas Girishchandra Bachharaj
     5. The election programme for above-mentioned 05 Local Authorities’ Constituencies shall be as under:- 
    S. No
    Events
    Dates

    1 Issue of Notifications
    16th November, 2021 (Tuesday)

    2 Last date of making nominations
    23rd November, 2021 (Tuesday)

    3 Scrutiny of nominations
    24th November, 2021 (Wednesday)

    4 Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    26th November, 2021 (Friday)

    5 Date of Poll
    10th December, 2021 (Friday)

    6 Hours of Poll
    08:00 am to 04:00 pm

    7 Counting of Votes
    14th December, 2021 (Tuesday)

    8 Date before which election shall be completed
    16th December, 2021 (Thursday)
    6. Broad Guidelines of Covid-19 as already issued by ECI as well as the recent guidelines issued by ECI as contained in para 06 of Press Note dated 28.09.2021 available at link https://eci.gov.in/candidate-political-parties/instructions-on-covid-19/ to be followed, wherever applicable, during entire election process for all persons. 
    7. The Model Code of Conduct concerning the said election will come into force with immediate effect in the concerned Constituency. Please see the details in Commission’s website under https://eci.gov.in/files/file/4070-biennial-bye-elections-to-the-legislative-councils-from-council-constituencies-by-graduates%E2%80%99-and teachers%E2%80%99-and-local-authorities%E2%80%99-constituencies-%E2%80%93-mcc-instructions-%E2%80%93-regarding/ 
    8.  The Chief Secretary, Maharashtra 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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  7. Biennial Election to the Karnataka Legislative Council from 20 Local Authorities’ Constituencies for 25 seats due to retirement of sitting members on 05.01.2022–reg.

    No. ECI/PN/93/2021                        
    Dated: 09th November, 2021
                                                                  
    PRESS NOTE 
    Sub:-  Biennial Election to the Karnataka Legislative Council from 20 Local Authorities’ Constituencies for 25 seats due to retirement of sitting members on 05.01.2022–reg. 
    The term of office of the 25 sitting members of Karnataka Legislative Council from 20 Local Authorities’ Constituencies is going to expire on 05.01.2022 as per details given below:
    KARNATAKA
    S.No.
    Name of Local Authorities Constituencies
    No. of seat(s)
    Name of member
    Date of Retirement
    1.       
    Bidar
    01
    Vijay Singh
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    05.01.2022
    2.       
    Gulbarga
     
    01
    B. G. Patil
    3.       
    Bijapur
    02
    S.R. Patil
    Sunilgouda Patil
    4.       
    Belgaum
    02
    Kavatagimath Mahantesh Mallikarjun
    Vivekrao Vasantrao Patil
    5.       
    Uttara Kannada
    01
    Ghotnekar Shrikant Laxman
    6.       
    Dharwad
    02
    Pradeep Shettar
    Mane Shrinivas
    7.       
    Raichur
    01
    Basavaraj Patil Itagi
    8.       
    Bellary
    01
    K. C. Kondaiah
    9.       
    Chitradurga
    01
    G. Raghuachar
    10.   
    Shimoga
    01
    R. Prasanna Kumar
    11.   
    Dakshina Kannada
    02
    K. Prathapchandra Shetty
    Kota Srinivasa Poojary
    12.   
    Chikmagalur
    01
    Pranesh M.K.
    13.   
    Hassan
    01
    M.A. Gopalaswamy
    14.   
    Tumkur
    01
    Kanthraj (BML)
    15.   
    Mandya
    01
    N. Appajigowda
    16.   
    Bangalore
    01
    M. Narayanaswamy
    17.   
    Bangalore Rural
    01
    S. Ravi
    18.   
    Kolar
    01
    C.R. Manohar
    19.   
    Kodagu
    01
    Sunil Subramani M.P.
    20.   
    Mysore
    02
    R. Dharmasena
    S. Nagaraju (Sandesh Nagaraju)
     
    2.          Now, the Commission has decided to hold biennial election to Karnataka Legislative Council from above mentioned 20 Local Authorities’ Constituencies in accordance with the following programme:-
     
    S. No
    Events
    Dates

    1 Issue of Notifications
    16th November, 2021 (Tuesday)

    2 Last date of making nominations
    23rd November, 2021 (Tuesday)

    3 Scrutiny of nominations
    24th November, 2021 (Wednesday)

    4 Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    26th November, 2021 (Friday)

    5 Date of Poll
    10th December, 2021 (Friday)

    6 Hours of Poll
    08:00 am to 04:00 pm

    7 Counting of Votes
    14th December, 2021 (Tuesday)

    8 Date before which election shall be completed
    16th December, 2021 (Thursday)
    3. Broad Guidelines of Covid-19 as already issued by ECI as well as the recent guidelines issued by ECI as contained in para 06 of Press Note dated 28.09.2021 available at link https://eci.gov.in/candidate-political-parties/instructions-on-covid-19/ to be followed, wherever applicable, during entire election process for all persons. 
    4.  The Model Code of Conduct concerning the said election will come into force with immediate effect in the concerned Constituency. Please see the details in Commission’s website under https://eci.gov.in/files/file/4070-biennial-bye-elections-to-the-legislative-councils-from-council-constituencies-by-graduates%E2%80%99-and teachers%E2%80%99-and-local-authorities%E2%80%99-constituencies-%E2%80%93-mcc-instructions-%E2%80%93-regarding/ 
    5.  The Chief Secretary, Karnataka 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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  8. Biennial Election to the Telangana Legislative Council from 09 Local Authorities’ Constituencies for 12 seats due to retirement of sitting members on 04.01.2022–reg. 

    No. ECI/PN/92/2021                        
    Dated: 09th November 2021
                                                                  
    PRESS NOTE 
    Sub:-  Biennial Election to the Telangana Legislative Council from 09 Local Authorities’ Constituencies for 12 seats due to retirement of sitting members on 04.01.2022–reg. 
    The term of office of the 12 sitting members of Telangana Legislative Council from 09 Local Authorities’ Constituencies is going to expire on 04.01.2022 as per details given below:
    TELANGANA
    S.No.
    Name of Local Authorities’ Constituency
    No of Seat(s)
    Name of the Member
    Date of Retirement
    1.      
    Adilabad
    01
    Puranam Satish Kumar
    04.01.2022
    2.      
    Warangal
    01
    Pochampally Srinivas Reddy
    04.01.2022
    3.      
    Nalgonda
    01
    Tera Chinnapa Reddy
    04.01.2022
    4.      
    Medak
    01
    V. Bhoopal Reddy
    04.01.2022
    5.      
    Nizamabad
    01
    Kalvakuntla Kavitha
    04.01.2022
    6.      
    Khammam
    01
    Balasani Laxminarayana
    04.01.2022
    7.      
    Karimnagar
    02
    T. Bhanuprasad Rao
    04.01.2022
     
    Naradasu Laxman Rao
    8.      
    Mahabubnagar
    02
    Kasireddy Narayan Reddy
    04.01.2022
     
    Kuchukulla Damoder Reddy
    9.      
    Ranga Reddy
    02
    Sri Patnam Mahender Reddy
    04.01.2022
     
    Sunkari Raju
    2.          Now, the Commission has decided to hold biennial election to Telangana Legislative Council from above mentioned 09 Local Authorities’ Constituencies in accordance with the following programme:- 
    S. No
    Events
    Dates

    1. Issue of Notifications
    16th November, 2021 (Tuesday)

    2. Last date of making nominations
    23rd November, 2021 (Tuesday)

    3. Scrutiny of nominations
    24th November, 2021 (Wednesday)

    4. Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    26th November, 2021 (Friday)

    5. Date of Poll
    10th December, 2021 (Friday)

    6. Hours of Poll
    08:00 am to 04:00 pm

    7. Counting of Votes
    14th December, 2021 (Tuesday)

    8. Date before which election shall be completed
    16th December, 2021 (Thursday)
     
    3.  Broad Guidelines of Covid-19 as already issued by ECI as well as the recent guidelines issued by ECI as contained in para 06 of Press Note dated 28.09.2021 available at link https://eci.gov.in/candidate-political-parties/instructions-on-covid-19/ to be followed, wherever applicable, during entire election process for all persons. 
    4.   The Model Code of Conduct concerning the said election will come into force with immediate effect in the concerned Constituency. Please see the details in Commission’s website under https://eci.gov.in/files/file/4070-biennial-bye-elections-to-the-legislative-councils-from-council-constituencies-by-graduates%E2%80%99-and teachers%E2%80%99-and-local-authorities%E2%80%99-constituencies-%E2%80%93-mcc-instructions-%E2%80%93-regarding/
    5.  The Chief Secretary, Telangana 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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  9. Biennial Elections to 11 sitting members of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from 08 Local Authorities’ Constituencies –reg.

    No. ECI/PN/91/2021     
    Dated: 09th November, 2021
    PRESS NOTE 
    Subject:    Biennial Elections to 11 sitting members of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from 08 Local Authorities’ Constituencies –reg.                 
    The term of office of 11 sitting members of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from 08 Local Authorities’ Constituencies had expired as per details below: -
    S.No.
    Name of Local Authorities Constituencies
    No. of seat(s)
    Name of member
    Date of Retirement
    1.       
    Anantapur Local Authorities
    01
    Payyavula Keshav
    (Vacant w.e.f  04.06.2019 due to non availability of desired electoral roll) 
    11.08.2021
    2.       
    Krishna Local Authorities’
    01
    Venkateswara Rao Buddha
    11.08.2021
    01
    Yalamanchili Venkata Babu
    Rajendra Prasad
    11.08.2021
    3.       
    East Godavari Local Authorities’
    01
    Reddy Subrahmanyam
    11.08.2021
    4.       
    Guntur Local Authorities’
    02
    Annam Satish Prabhakar
    (Vacant w.e.f  04.06.2019 due to non availability of desired electoral roll) 
    11.08.2021
     
    Ummareddy Venkateswarlu
    5.       
    Vizianagaram Local Authorities’
    01
    Dwarapureddi Jagadeeswara Rao
    11.08.2021
    6.       
    Visakhapatnam Local Authorities’
    01
    Buddha Naga Jagadeswara Rao
    11.08.2021
    01
    Chalapathi Rao Pappala
    11.08.2021
    7.       
    Chittoor Local Authorities’
    01
    Gali Saraswathi
    11.08.2021
    8.       
    Prakasam Local Authorities’
    01
    Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy (Vacant w.e.f  04.06.2019 due to non-availability of desired electoral roll)
    11.08.2021
    2.  Biennial elections to fill up 11 seats could not be conducted by 11.08.2021 as the Constituent Local Bodies/Electors were not in existence at that time. The Commission vide letter dated 07.06.2021 had sought information regarding existence of constituent Local Bodies functioning and their percentage in the said Constituencies. The CEO, Andhra Pradesh vide letter dated 23.06.2021 had informed that of the above (8) Local Authorities’ Constituencies in Andhra Pradesh, the percentage of constituent Local Bodies functioning was ranging between 6.98 and 16 and the percentage of electors in position was ranging between 17.75 and 27.50 as elections to most of the local bodies in these 8 Local Authorities Constituencies were either pending or were not conducted by the State Election Commission, Andhra Pradesh.
    3.  Now, as per the information received from the CEO, Andhra Pradesh vide letter dated 01.10.2021, both the percentage of constituent Local Bodies functioning and the percentage of electors in position is above 75%, in respect of above mentioned 08 Local Authorities’ Constituencies in Andhra Pradesh.  
    4. With regard to Local Authorities’ Constituencies election, the Election Commission has laid down the guidelines that if atleast 75% of the local authorities in a local authorities’ constituency are functioning, and in addition at least 75% of the electors out of the total electorate of the constituency are available, then electorate is treated as available for electing representative(s) to the legislative council. These guidelines of the Election Commission got the approval of Supreme Court of India in Election Commission of India Vs Shivaji and Ors (AIR 1988 SC 61).
     5.  The Commission having re-assessed Covid-19 pandemic situation in the State of Andhra Pradesh and after taking into consideration all relevant facts, has now decided to conduct biennial election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from above-mentioned 08 Local Authorities’ Constituencies  in accordance with the following programme:-
    S.No
    EVENTS
    DATES & DAYS
    1.        
    Issue of Notifications
    16th November, 2021 (Tuesday)
    2.        
    Last date of making nominations
    23rd November, 2021 (Tuesday)
    3.        
    Scrutiny of nominations
    24th November, 2021 (Wednesday)
    4.        
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    26th November, 2021 (Friday)
    5.        
    Date of poll
    10th December, 2021 (Friday)
    6.        
    Hours of poll   
    08:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.        
    Counting of Votes
    14th December, 2021 (Tuesday)
    8.        
    Date before which election shall be completed
    16th December, 2021 (Thursday)
     6.  Broad Guidelines of Covid-19 as already issued by ECI as well as the recent guidelines issued by ECI as contained in para 06 of Press Note dated 28.09.2021 available at link https://eci.gov.in/candidate-political-parties/instructions-on-covid-19/ to be followed, wherever applicable, during entire election process for all persons. 
    7.  The Model Code of Conduct concerning the said election will come into force with immediate effect in the concerned Constituency. Please see the details in Commission’s website under https://eci.gov.in/files/file/4070-biennial-bye-elections-to-the-legislative-councils-from-council-constituencies-by-graduates%E2%80%99-and teachers%E2%80%99-and-local-authorities%E2%80%99-constituencies-%E2%80%93-mcc-instructions-%E2%80%93-regarding/
     8.  The Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh 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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  10. Biennial Elections to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/90/2021
    Dated: 31st October, 2021
                                                                  
    PRESS NOTE 
    Sub:- Biennial Elections to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Council by the members of  Legislative Assembly (MLAs) –  reg. 
    The term of office of following sitting members of the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Council elected by the members of respective Legislative Assembly had expired on 31.05.2021 and 03.06.2021 respectively. The details are given as under: - 
    S.No
    Name of Member
    Date of Retirement 
    ANDHRA PRADESH
    1.       
    Chinna Govinda Reddy Devasani
     
    31.05.2021
    2.       
    Mohammed Ahmed Shariff
    3.       
    Somu Veerraju
    TELANGANA
    1.       
    Akula Lalitha
     
     
     
    03.06.2021
    2.       
    Mohammed Fareeduddin
    3.       
    Gutha Sukender Reddy
    4.       
    Vidyasagar Nethi
    5.       
    Venkateshwarlu Bodakunti
    6.       
    Shrihari Kadiyam
    2. The Commission vide Press Note No. ECI/PN/65/2021 dated 13.05.2021 had 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 Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Councils till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive to hold above mentioned biennial elections.
    3.  The Commission having re-assessed the situation in the State of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after taking into consideration all relevant facts, has now decided to conduct above-mentioned biennial elections to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Councils by members of respective Legislative Assembly in accordance with the following programme: - 
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
      Issue of Notifications
    09th November, 2021 (Tuesday)
      Last date of making nominations
    16th November, 2021 (Tuesday)
      Scrutiny of nominations
    17th November, 2021 (Wednesday)
      Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    22nd November, 2021 (Monday)
      Date of Poll
    29th November, 2021 (Monday)
      Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
      Counting of Votes
    29th November, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
      Date before which election shall be completed
    01st December, 2021 (Wednesday)
    4. Broad Guidelines of Covid-19 as already issued by ECI as well as the recent guidelines issued by ECI as contained in para 06 of Press Note dated 28.09.2021 available at link https://eci.gov.in/candidate-political-parties/instructions-on-covid-19/. to be followed, wherever applicable, during entire election process for all persons. 
    5. 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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  11. Bye Election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/89/2021 Dated: 31st October, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Bye Election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council by the members of Legislative   Assembly (MLAs) – reg. 
                    There is a casual vacancy in the Maharashtra Legislative Council to be filled up by the members of Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra. The details of the vacancy are as follows: 
    S.No.
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Date & Cause of vacancy
    Term upto
    1.
    Sh. Sharad Namdeo Ranpise
    By MLAs
    23.09.2021
    Death
    27.07.2024
    2.  The Commission has decided to hold a bye-election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council by the members of the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra to fill the above mentioned vacancy as per the following schedule: 
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
      Issue of Notifications
    09th November, 2021 (Tuesday)
      Last date of making nominations
    16th November, 2021 (Tuesday)
      Scrutiny of nominations
    17th November, 2021 (Wednesday)
      Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    22nd November, 2021 (Monday)
      Date of Poll
    29th November, 2021 (Monday)
      Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
      Counting of Votes
    29th November, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
      Date before which election shall be completed
    01st December, 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 06 of Press Note dated 28.09.2021 available at link https://eci.gov.in/candidate-political-parties/instructions-on-covid-19/. to be followed, wherever applicable, during entire election process for all persons.
     4. The Chief Secretary, Maharashtra 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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  12. Bye Elections to the Council of States from Kerala and West Bengal -reg.

    No. ECI/PN/88/2021                               
    Dated: 31st October, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:   Bye Elections to the Council of States from Kerala and West Bengal -reg.
    There are two casual vacancies in the Council of States from Kerala and West Bengal as per details below: -
    State
    Name of Member
    Cause of vacancy
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    Kerala
    Shri Jose K. Mani
    Resignation
    11.01.2021
    01.07.2024
    West Bengal
    Ms. Arpita Ghosh
    Resignation
    15.09.2021
    02.04.2026
    2. The Commission vide Press Note No. ECI/PN/67/2021, dated 28.05.2021 had decided that due to outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, it would not be appropriate to hold bye election to the Council of States from Kerala till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive to hold bye election to the Council of States from Kerala.
    3. The Commission having re-assessed the situation in the State of Kerala and after taking into consideration all relevant facts, has now decided to conduct above-mentioned two bye elections to the Council of States from Kerala and West Bengal in accordance with the following programme: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
      Issue of Notifications
    09th November, 2021 (Tuesday)
      Last date of making nominations
    16th November, 2021 (Tuesday)
      Scrutiny of nominations
    17th November, 2021 (Wednesday)
      Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    22nd November, 2021 (Monday)
      Date of Poll
    29th November, 2021 (Monday)
      Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
      Counting of Votes
    29th November, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
      Date before which election shall be completed
    01st December, 2021 (Wednesday)
     
    4. Broad Guidelines of Covid-19 as already issued by ECI as well as the recent guidelines issued by ECI as contained in para 06 of Press Note dated 28.09.2021 available at link https://eci.gov.in/candidate-political-parties/instructions-on-covid-19/. to be followed, wherever applicable, during entire election process for all persons.
    5. 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.

    61 downloads

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  13. Shri Sushil Chandra, Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of India visits Uzbekistan as an International Observer for Presidential Elections (21 - 25 Oct 2021)

    No. ECI/PN/87/2021 
    Dated: 28th October, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
      Shri Sushil Chandra, Hon’ble Chief  Election Commissioner of India visits Uzbekistan as an International Observer for Presidential Elections  
    (21 - 25 Oct 2021)
    On the  invitation of the Chairman, Central Election Commission  of Uzbekistan, (CEC-U),  Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sushil Chandra led a three member delegation to Uzbekistan  in order to observe the conduct of Presidential elections held on October 24, 2021. This election, conducted under the new election code, was keenly watched by the international community. 

    The CEC of India and the Chairman, CEC of Uzbekistan Mr. Zainiddin M.  Nizamkhodjaev held a bilateral meeting on electoral cooperation on October 21,2021. The Chairman, CEC-U thanked  Shri Chandra for accepting his invitation and also briefed him about the various measures taken for the conduct of this election including  single electronic voters’ list, arrangements for in-person voting  on poll day and early voting as well as  covid safety arrangements. Sh. Chandra spoke about the recent conduct of elections in India and various avenues for further strengthening electoral ties between the two countries through signing of MoU on electoral cooperation and training and capacity building programs which ECI would be happy to organize for Uzbekistan election officials. Delegates from Uzbekistan have been avidly participating in ECI’s International Election Visitors Programmes (IEVP) organized during elections and officials from Uzbekistan have been attending training programs at ECI under the ITEC program. 
    Under the Uzbekistan Election law, the President is elected for a five year term from a single nationwide constituency. The election administration follows a three-tier structure comprised of the Central Election Commission, 14 District Election Commissions and 10,760 Precinct Election Commissions. Uzbekistan has an electorate of about 20 million. Each polling station caters to a maximum of 3000 voters. Early voting system was in place from October 14-20 and  421,618 people used the early voting facility including 120,524 from abroad. 
    Only registered political parties can nominate candidates to run in elections. Five candidates -four men and one woman candidate contested elections for the President of Uzbekistan. The campaign for elections is funded by the State. A number of infographics carrying photographs and information about the five candidates was displayed at prominent locations in Uzbekistan.  

    The Indian delegation visited the 7th and 14th District Election Commissions to obtain an overview of the electoral administration, procedures and initiatives of the CEC of Uzbekistan. Thereafter, they visited polling stations in Uzbekistan in order to observe the election process in detail. Various aspects of conduct of elections including voter lists, identification of voters, early voting mechanisms, arrangements for facilitation of the elderly and persons with disabilities, Covid safety protocols,  polling station readiness and casting of vote by ballot paper were observed  across different polling stations.   


    Presence of representatives of political parties/candidates and mahalla committees was noticed at polling booths. Voters were identified through passports or driving license document. A count of voters including First time voters and those voting from home was being maintained. Hourly reports of voter turnout were being sent to CEC electronically.
    Shri Sushil Chandra took this opportunity to interact with the Officials of the Indian Embassy led by the Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan,  Shri Manish Prabhat and briefed them about the Electronic Transfer of Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) facilities for voting by service voters. This was followed by a very active and vibrant interaction on Indian elections with the representatives of Non-Resident Indian community  based in Tashkent. 

    The CEC also paid floral tribute at the bust of India’s second Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastriji at his memorial in Tashkent. 

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  14. Enforcement of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during bye-election in the entire district - regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/86/2021                                                                    
    Dated:  21.10.2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Enforcement of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during bye-election in the entire district - regarding.
    It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that with reference to its instruction contained in letter no.437/6/INST/2016-CSS dated 29th June, 2017, which was reiterated vide letter no. 437/6/1/ECI/INST/FUNCT/MCC/2017 dated 18th January, 2018 that in case the constituency is comprised in State Capital/Metropolitan Cities/Municipal Corporations, then MCC instructions would be applicable in the area of concerned Constituency only. In all other cases, aforesaid instructions would be enforced in the entire district(s) covering the Constituency going for bye-election(s).
    The spirit of these instructions has been that developmental and administrative works should continue without the implications of MCC and the campaigning for the bye election should be restricted in the PC/AC concerned only.
    However, there exists a situation that political activities akin to ongoing bye election may be conducted outside the PC/AC but within the district. Such activities will be in contravention to the spirit of the aforesaid instructions. Thus, it is further clarified that if any electioneering activities connected to ongoing bye election are organized anywhere within the district, then all instructions related to enforcement of MCC, COVID and expenditure monitoring shall apply as done in case of political activities. District Election Officer concerned shall exercise all necessary action in such cases and ensure strict compliance.  

    237 downloads

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  15. Advisory to political parties/ contesting candidates for compliance of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during bye election - regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/85/2021                                                        
    Dated: 21st October, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Subject : Advisory to political parties/ contesting candidates for compliance of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during bye election - regarding.
    The Commission's existing instructions regarding enforcement of Model Code of Conduct during bye-elections to Parliamentary/Assembly Constituency provides that the applicability of Model Code of Conduct would be to the concerned district(s) comprising the AC/PC going to such bye-election. The only relaxation in these instructions have been given vide the Commission's letter 437/6/INST/2016-CSS dated 29th June, 2017 and reiterated vide letter no 437/6/1/ECI/INST/FUNCT/MCC/2017 dated 18th January, 2018 that in case the constituency is comprised in State Capital/Metropolitan Cities/Municipal Corporations. In such cases, MCC instructions would be applicable in the area of concerned Constituency only. In all other cases, aforesaid instructions would be enforced in the entire district(s) covering the Constituency going for bye-election(s). The above relaxation has been given with an objective that the operation of MCC does not hamper normal developmental and administrative functioning in the State and districts. 
    It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that certain political parties/candidates are organizing electioneering activities in the areas adjoining the district/constituency where the bye-election is being conducted. In this regard all political parties/candidates are advised not to organize any political activities directly related to the bye-elections even in the areas adjoining the district/constituency where the bye-election are being held. The District Election
    Officers concerned will ensure that the MCC instructions and COVID guidelines relating to the norms of social distancing are followed in the districts adjoining to the poll going district/constituency.

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  16. ECI launches inaugural edition of “The ECI Annual National Essay Contest on Election & Democracy”

    No. ECI/PN/84/2021 
    Dated: Oct 1, 2021
     
    Press Note
    ECI launches inaugural edition of “The ECI Annual National Essay Contest on Election & Democracy”

    National Essay Contest is organized jointly by IIIDEM & JGLS

    Competition opens for entries from 2nd October to 21st November 2021
    The Election Commission of India (ECI) today launched the inaugural edition of “The Election Commission of India Annual National Essay Contest on Election & Democracy,” conducted jointly by India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) & Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana.  The Competition opens on 2nd October, 2021 and the last date for the submission of entries is 21st November, 2021. The two topics for the contest are - Topic 1: ‘Legal Framework for Social Media Regulations During Elections’ and Topic 2: ‘The ECI’s Role in Protecting and Preserving Electoral Democracy’. The main objective of this essay competition is to encourage law students to engage in contemporary research and explore new dimensions of the law governing elections in India.
    The Essay Competition will be online in nature and shall be conducted in both English and Hindi. The essay competition is for students pursuing a law programme administered by an Indian Law University / Institute / College recognized by Bar Council of India. The essay entries will be evaluated by JGLS faculty members with expertise in election laws, in consultation with the IIIDEM on five criteria’s including Originality of the content, Formatting & Presentation, Quality of Research, Argumentation and Use of Authorities and citations. The prizes, which are available for different categories, are attractive with the first prize pegged at Rs. 1 lakh.
    While emphasizing the importance of the essay competition, Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sushil Chandra, shared a message highlighting that the contest is an effort to inspire young and bright minds from Law Schools to undertake research on the laws and policy governing elections in India. He further added that the Essay Contest would provide a platform for the students to showcase their depth of knowledge, analytical ability and persuasive style of writing.
    Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar in his message emphasised that the Essay contest is an initiative to sensitize, develop, harness and sharpen talent of Law students and provide annual competitive opportunity to express their understanding of the Constitution, Law, and the electoral process. Highlighting the challenges in th field of Electoral Law, he informed that the Electoral Laws deal not only with the right of the voters, political parties and candidates, but also deal with their responsibilities. He encouraged the young students to participate with enthusiasm in the said competition. 
    Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey while highlighting the two topics of the essay contest in his message, said that these require the participants to go through various Constitutional and legal aspects of democratic process in general, and electoral provisions in particular. He further expressed his full confidence that the young participants of the competition will come out with brilliant write ups on the subjects.
    The complete details of the National Essay Contest are available at website url: https://www.eciessay.org/  which will be functional from 2nd October, 2021 onwards.

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  17. Schedule for Bye-elections in Parliamentary/Assembly Constituencies of various States - reg

    No. ECI/PN/83/2021                                                     
    Dated:28th September, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:  Schedule for Bye-elections in Parliamentary/ Assembly Constituencies of various States – reg. 
    The Commission has reviewed the situations related to pandemic, flood, festivals, cold conditions in certain regions, feedback from concerned States/UT and taken into consideration all facts and circumstances and it has decided to hold bye-elections to fill vacancies in three (3) Parliamentary Constituencies of UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and thirty (30) vacancies in Assembly Constituencies of various States as per details given below:
    Sl. No.
    State/UT
    Parliamentary Constituency No. & Name
     
    1.    
    UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu
    Dadra & Nagar Haveli
    2.    
    Madhya Pradesh
    28-Khandwa
    3.    
    Himachal Pradesh
    2-Mandi
     
    Sl. No.
    State
    Constituency No. & Name
     
    1.    
    Andhra Pradesh
    124-Badvel (SC)
    2.    
    Assam
    28-Gossaigaon
    3.    
    Assam
    41-Bhabanipur
    4.    
    Assam
    58-Tamulpur
    5.    
    Assam
    101-Mariani
    6.    
    Assam
    107-Thowra
    7.    
    Bihar
    78-Kusheshwar Asthan (SC)
    8.    
    Bihar
    164-Tarapur
    9.    
    Haryana
    46-Ellenabad
    10.      
    Himachal Pradesh
    08-Fatehpur
    11.      
    Himachal Pradesh
    50-Arki
    12.      
    Himachal Pradesh
    65-Jubbal- Kotkhai
    13.      
    Karnataka
    33-Sindgi
    14.      
    Karnataka
    82-Hangal
    15.      
    Madhya Pradesh
    45-Prithvipur
    16.      
    Madhya Pradesh
    62-Raigaon (SC)
    17.      
    Madhya Pradesh
    192-Jobat (ST)
    18.      
    Maharashtra
    90-Deglur (SC)
    19.      
    Meghalaya
    13-Mawryngkneng (ST)
    20.      
    Meghalaya
    24-Mawphlang (ST)
    21.      
    Meghalaya
    47-Rajabala
    22.      
    Mizoram
    4-Tuirial (ST)
    23.      
    Nagaland
    58-Shamtorr-Chessore (ST)
    24.      
    Rajasthan
    155-Vallabhnagar
    25.      
    Rajasthan
    157-Dhariawad (ST)
    26.      
    Telangana
    31-Huzurabad
    27.      
    West Bengal
    7-Dinhata
    28.      
    West Bengal
    86-Santipur
    29.      
    West Bengal
    109-Khardaha
    30.      
    West Bengal
    127-Gosaba(SC)
    The Commission has decided to hold these bye-elections to fill vacancies and has fixed the dates of poll events as per provisions under Section 30 and date of withdrawal under Section 30(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The schedule of bye election is as follows:
    Schedule 1: For Assembly Constituency of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Telangana and Parliamentary Constituency of  UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh.
    Poll Events
    Schedule 1
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    01.10.2021 (Friday)
    Last Date of Nominations
    08.10.2021 (Friday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    11.10.2021 (Monday)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    13.10.2021 (Wednesday)
    Date of Poll
    30.10.2021 (Saturday)
    Date of Counting
    02.11.2021 (Tuesday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    05.11.2021  (Friday)
     
    Schedule 2: For Assembly Constituency of Assam, Bihar and West Bengal
    Poll Events
    Schedule 2
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    01.10.2021 (Friday)
    Last Date of Nominations
    08.10.2021 (Friday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    11.10.2021  (Monday)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    16.10.2021 (Saturday)
    Date of Poll
    30.10.2021 (Saturday)
    Date of Counting
    02.11.2021 (Tuesday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    05.11.2021  (Friday)
    1.   ELECTORAL ROLL
    The published Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2021 will be used for these elections. 
    2.    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.
    3.   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. 
    4.   MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
    The Model code of conduct shall come into force with immediate effect 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). 
    5.        INFORMATION REGARDING CRIMINAL ANTECEDENTS
    The Commission has prescribed timeline for publicity of criminal antecedents during the period starting from the day following the last date of withdrawal and upto 48 hours before ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll.
    The consolidated instructions on this matter is available on the Commission’s website under the following hyperlink https://eci.gov.in/files/file/12265-broad-guidelines-of-election-commission-of-india-on-publicity-of-criminal-antecedents-by-political-parties-candidates/
    This is in furtherance of the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India dated 13.02.2020 and 10.08.2021 in Contempt Petition (C) No. 656 of 2020 titled Brajesh Singh Vs. Sunil Arora & Ors., which has been circulated to political parties vide Commission’s letter dated 26.08.2021. In pursuance of the direction given under Para 73.v of the judgment, now, Format C-7 should be published by the political parties within 48 hours of the selection of the candidate and not prior to two weeks before the first date of filing of nominations.
    The Commission has also prescribed following timeline for publicity of criminal antecedents during the period starting from the day following the last date of withdrawal and upto 48 hours before ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll.
    The consolidated instructions on this matter is available on the Commission’s website under the following hyperlink https://eci.gov.in/files/file/12265-broad-guidelines-of-election-commission-of-india-on-publicity-of-criminal-antecedents-by-political-parties-candidates/ 
    6.    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.
    7.   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.  
    8.   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.
    9.   All polling personnel and election officials including the private persons engaged in the election duty shall be double vaccinated before taking their services.
    10. 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.
    11.     One health worker to be appointed as COVID nodal officer for each Polling Station.
    12.     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.  
    13.     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.

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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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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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