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  1. Announcement of Schedule for General Elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim, 2019

    Alternate link to download the press note: Announcement of Schedule for General Elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim, 2019
     
     
     
     

    70,405 downloads

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  2. Voter Helpline: 1950

    No. ECI/PN/19/2019          Dated: 22nd February, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Subject: Voter Helpline: 1950
    In view of the impending General Elections, the Election Commission of India has strengthened its Voter Helpline to make it easy for the Voters to get authentic information pertaining to their voter registration.  The range of services provided by the Helpline Number 1950 have been refurbished and made easily accessible.
    The enrolled electors in the Electoral Roll can check the details of their personal information, the Polling Station planned for them to visit on the Poll Day and to know the contact details of Booth Level Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and District Election Officers, by using the Voter Helpline Mobile App or through www.nvsp.in  Portal or by calling 1950 Helpline Number.  In the same line, services through SMS can also be availed by citizens by sending SMS without any cost to 1950.  Formats in which such SMSs can be sent are:
    (i) ECI <EPIC Number>  <0 (for reply in English) or <1 (for reply in the regional language).   (ii) ECIPS <EPIC Number>    This will fetch the address of the Polling Station, where the said EPIC Number bearer needs to go to cast the vote.
    (iii) ECICONTACT <EPIC Number>   This will fetch the reply providing the sender with contact details of Booth Level Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and District Election Officers.
    Since mere possession of EPIC Card is not enough for the electors but their names should also be there in the electoral roll for enabling them to cast their vote on the poll day, it is necessary that the citizens/electors should check that their names figure in the electoral rolls.  If they are not enrolled, they can submit Form 6 online through www.nvsp.in or submit the form through Mobile APP or hard copy to the respective ERO Offices.  If there is any correction needed, they can submit Form 8 for necessary correction online through NVSP or through Mobile App or hard copy to respective ERO offices.  Also if their addresses are changed within the part, they need to submit Form 8A on the same lines as above.
    It is also clarified that all these services can be obtained directly or by approaching the concerned officials appointed by the Election Commission of India.  ECI has not authorized any intermediaries to provide these services.
     

    13,766 downloads

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  3. Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra, 2019.

    Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra, 2019.

    10,869 downloads

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  4. Election Commission of India Launches a One Stop Solution to Verify & Authenticate Voter Details

    No. ECI/PN/79/2019       Dated: 1st September, 2019
    Election Commission of India Launches a One Stop Solution to Verify & Authenticate Voter Details
    On the occasion of the nationwide mega million launch of Electors Verification Programme, a special camp was held at Election Commission of India Headquarters in New Delhi on September 1, 2019. Unveiling the initiative on National Voters’ Service Portal (https://www.nvsp.in/) and Voter Helpline App, Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora said, ‘Electoral Roll is the foundation on which the entire superstructure of the Election Commission of India stands. I urge all the citizens to participate in the verification programmes so that the Commission can provide better electoral services in all forthcoming elections.’
     
    Reiterating the importance of a healthy electoral roll, Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa said, ‘It is an important opportunity for all the voters to verify and authenticate their details. Participation of people is paramount to the success of the drive, I urge all to come forward and ensure an error free Electoral Roll as it is the heart of the electoral process.’ He also said that just as FIT INDIA, launched a few days ago, was meant to keep us healthy, the EVP campaign was meant to improve the health of our electoral rolls. 
     
    The main aim of the programme is to improve the health of Electoral rolls and to provide better electoral services to citizens and increase the level of Communication between voters and the Commission. The program has been launched at all Levels starting from the State/UT Headquarters by 32 CEOs, District level by about 700 DEOs and at around 1 million Polling Stations by BLOs/EROs and will continue from September 1, 2019 to October 15, 2019. 
     
    The voters can log on to NVSP portal (nvsp.in) or Voter Helpline App or Common Service Centres or any nearby voter facilitation centre to avail the following facilities. 
    ϖ Verification and corrections of the existing details ϖ Authentication of entry by furnishing scanned/DigiLocker copy of one of the following documents: (i) Indian Passport (ii) Driving License (iii) Aadhaar Card (iv) Ration Card (v) identity card for Government/Semi Government Officials (vi) Bank Passbooks (vii) Farmer's Identity Card (viii) PAN Card (ix) Smart Card issued by RGI (x) Latest bill for water/electricity/telephone/gas connection. ϖ Furnishing details of family members and verifying their entries too ϖ Updating details of family members already enrolled as voters but permanently shifted or expired ϖ Furnishing details of eligible un-enrolled family members (born on or before 01.01.2001) and prospective electors born between (02.01.2002 till 01.01.2003) who are residing with the elector. ϖ Furnishing GIS Coordinates of House (through Mobile App) to avail better electoral Services ϖ Feedback regarding existing Polling Stations and suggestions on alternate PS, if any The one time authentication of details and sharing contact detail would help electors to get update of online application status, status of EPIC, Election Day announcement, voter slip on their registered email and mobile number. Regular notification on modifications on Serial No. and details of Polling Station, Change in BLO/ ERO, all information related to Polling Station will also be shared with the Electors. 
    Starting the endeavour at its helm, the employees of the Commission verified and authenticated their details along with their family.
     
     
     

    10,623 downloads

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  5. ANNOUNCEMENT OF SCHEDULE FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS TO LOK SABHA AND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES IN ANDHRA PRADESH, ARUNACHAL PRADESH, ODISHA & SIKKIM, 2019.

    No. ECI/PN/24/2019     Dated:10th March, 2019
     PRESS NOTE
     SUBJECT: ANNOUNCEMENT OF SCHEDULE FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS TO LOK SABHA AND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES IN ANDHRA PRADESH, ARUNACHAL PRADESH, ODISHA & SIKKIM, 2019.
     In continuation of the Commission’s Press Note No. ECI/PN/23/2019, dated 10th March, 2019, the following may be read as:
    2.         The date of poll in respect of Bye Elections for 18 ACs of Tamil Nadu, as mentioned at Sl.No. 14 to Sl. No. 31, as already scheduled for Phase 2(Two) of Election, shall be read as 18th April, 2019 instead of 23rd April, 2019.
    3.         In the details of Schedule No. 3, 4 & 5 in respect of PC (3-Anantnag) in Jammu & Kashmir, the Date of Issue of Notification, Last Date of Filing Nominations, Scrutiny of Nominations & Last Date for Withdrawal of Candidature, shall be read as 28th March, 2019, 04th April, 2019, 05th April, 2019 & 08th April, 2019, respectively only with Dates of Poll as 23rd April, 2019, 29th April, 2019 & 06th May, 2019, respectively.
    4.         Accordingly, the election schedule for Anantnag PC of Jammu & Kashmir will be held as per schedule:
    1
    Issue of Notification­
    28.03.2019
    2
    Last Date of filing Nominations
    04.04.2019
    3
    Scrutiny of Nominations
    05.04.2019
    4
    Last date for withdrawal of Candidature
    08.04.2019
    5 (a)
    Date of poll (in Anantnag District)
    23.04.2019
    5 (b)
    Date of poll (in Kulgam District)
    29.04.2019
    5 (c)
    Date of poll (Shopian & Pulwama Districts)
    06.05.2019
    6
    Counting of Votes
    23.05.2019
     

    14,965 downloads

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  6. Reconciled Consolidated Voter Turnout data of Lok sabha 2019

    The document contains
    Reconciled Consolidated Voter Turnout data of Lok Sabha 2019
    (Provisional phase wise polling day voter turnout data has been replaced and data reconciled with official documents as per prescribed procedure is posted)

    39,523 downloads

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  7. Election Commission of India launches Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for upcoming General Elections 2019

    ECI/PN/16/2019     Dated: 08.02.2019
    PRESS NOTE
     Subject: Election Commission of India launches Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for upcoming General Elections 2019
    The Election Commission of India has launched a Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for citizens for verifications of their names, new registrations, changes in the voter details and corrections in the Voter Id Cards for the upcoming General Elections 2019.  ECI has enabled various channels for this VVIP programme. ECI has also set up Contact centers in all districts across India. The Voter Helpline number is 1950 . The Contact Centres are equipped with latest information and telecom infrastructure to help the callers. 

    The VVIP Programme was launched during the 2-day intensive Training-cum-Workshop on the use of Information & Communication Technology for the conduct of General Elections 2019. The Training-cum-Workshop was attended by Additional Chief Electoral Officers, Incharge of IT, Nodal Officers, State Level Master Trainers and technical resource persons from all States and Union Territories.
    Speaking on the occasion Election Commissioner, Sh. Ashok Lavasa said that the strength of technology is to make it easy for use by all. He exhorted those attending the workshop to imbibe and in turn explain extensively to all. Sh. Lavasa reminded the participants that the central theme of ECI's endeavours are to make Elections more inclusive. With the use of Apps,  prompt responses should be ensured as citizens demand a better quality of services.  
    Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. Sunil Arora said that technology is indeed a major game changer. The purpose at training workshops should be to listen, learn, absorb and apply. He pointed out that little time is now left before elections and intense consolidation of all learning should be ensured to actually facilitate the voter.  
    One of the important applications for which training was imparted to all States and UTs was cVIGIL . cVIGIL App provides time-stamped, evidence based proof of the Model Code of Conduct / Expenditure Violation, having live photo/video with auto location data. Any citizen can lodge a complaint through the Mobile App. Flying Squads then investigate the matter and the Returning Officer takes the decision. The status of cVIGIL can be shared with the cVIGIL complainant within a specified time limit.
    A CVigil User Manual and the EVM Management System User Manual was released on the occasion. A new Android-based mobile app called ‘Voter Helpline ’ was also launched today. This App provides convenience to all citizens for finding their names in the electoral roll, submitting online forms, checking the status of the application, filing complaints and receiving the reply on their mobile app. All forms, results, candidate affidavits, press notes, voter awareness and important instructions are available through the mobile app.
    A ‘PwD App’ to enable Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) to request for new registration, change in address, change in particulars and mark themselves as PwD through the use of the mobile application was also launched. By simply entering their contact details, the Booth Level Officer is assigned to provide doorstep facility. PwDs can also request for a wheelchair during polling.
    Use of the latest technologies by ECI has led to the spread of novel election activities, in addition to enhancing the existing election system.  For effective conduct of elections, the ECI has found a way of integrating the use of Smart Technology in the day-to-day processes of elections.

    6,431 downloads

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  8. Photo voter slips not to be valid as stand-alone identification document for voting

    No. ECI/PN/22/2019    Dated: 28th February, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Photo voter slips not to be valid as stand-alone identification   document for voting.
    Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) or one of the eleven specified photo identity documents, essential for casting vote.
    The Election Commission of India has directed that all electors in all constituencies who have been issued Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) have to produce the Electors Photo Identity Card for their identification at the polling station before casting their votes. Those electors who are not able to produce the EPIC shall produce one of the following alternative photo identity documents for establishing their identity. The list of eleven documents is: 
    Passport, Driving License, Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office, PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, MNREGA Job Card, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour, Pension document with photograph, Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, and Aadhaar Card.  Overseas electors shall have to produce their original passport only for identification. To assist the Voters, the Commission has further directed its officers that in the case of EPIC, minor discrepancies in the entries should be ignored, provided the identity of the elector can be established by the EPIC. If an elector produces an EPIC which has been issued by the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) of another Assembly Constituency, such card shall also be accepted for identification, provided the name of that elector finds place in the electoral roll pertaining to the polling station where the elector has turned up for voting.  If it is not possible to establish the identity of the elector on account of mismatch of photograph, etc. the elector shall have to produce one of the above mentioned alternative photo documents.
    Previously, the Commission had allowed Photo Voter Slip (PVS) as a document for identification. However, there have been representations against its use as a stand-alone identification document on the grounds of misuse since PVSs are printed after the finalization of the roll and distributed just close to the poll day through Booth Level Officers (BLO). The design of PVS does not incorporate any security feature. In fact, Photo Voter Slip was started as an alternative document, since the coverage of EPIC was not complete in earlier years. Currently, more than 99% electors possess EPIC, and more than 99% adults have been issued Aadhar Cards.
    Considering all the above listed facts, the Commission has now decided that PVS shall henceforth not be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting.  However, PVS will continue to be prepared and issued to electors as part of the awareness building exercise.  In order to make it clear to the electors that PVS shall not be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting, the words `THIS SLIP WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF IDENTIFICATION IN POLLING STATION. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY EPIC OR ONE OF THE 11 ALTERNATIVE DOCUMENTS SPECIFIED BY THE COMMISSION FOR VOTING” shall be printed on the Photo Voter Slip in bold letters.
    All Returning Officers and Presiding Officers are being informed of these instructions. A copy of the instructions translated in the vernacular language will be supplied to each Presiding Officer. The Commission has directed to publicize the order immediately through Gazette notifications and through print/electronic media at regular intervals till poll day for public awareness.

    6,571 downloads

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  9. Schedule for bye-election to fill casual vacancy in the State Legislative Assembly of Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh

    No. ECI/PN/77/2019  
    Dated: 25th August, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject : Schedule for bye-election to fill casual vacancy in the State Legislative Assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh– Regarding.
    There are four clear vacancies in the State Legislative Assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh which needs to be filled up:
    Sl. No.
    State
    Number & Name of Assembly Constituency
    1.     
    Chhattisgarh
    88 - Dantewada (ST)
    2.     
    Kerala
    93 – Pala
    3.     
    Tripura
    14 – Badharghat (SC)
    4.     
    Uttar Pradesh
    228-Hamirpur
     
    After taking into consideration various factors like local festivals, electoral rolls, weather conditions etc., the Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to fill these vacancies as per the programme mentioned as under: -
    Poll Events
    Schedule
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    28.08.2019 (WEDNESDAY)
    Last Date of Nominations
    04.09.2019 (WEDNESDAY)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    05.09.2019 (THURSDAY)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    07.09.2019 (SATURDAY)
    Date of Poll
    23.09.2019 (MONDAY)
    Date of Counting
    27.09.2019 (FRIDAY)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    29.09.2019 (SUNDAY)
    ELECTORAL ROLL
    The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2019 as the qualifying date has been finally published. 
    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.
     
    IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
              In consonance with the past practice, the Commission has decided that the voter's identification shall be mandatory in the aforementioned election at the time of poll' Electoral Photo Identity cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter. However, in order to ensure that no voter is deprived of his/her franchise, if his/her name figures in the electoral rolls, separate instructions will be issued to allow additional documents for identification of voters at the time of poll in the said election.
    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 /6/1NST2016-CCS, dated 29th June, 2017 (available on the commission's website). The Model code of conduct shall be applicable to all candidates, political parties and the state Government concerned. The Model code of conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government for the district of the State concerned.
                                

    1,075 downloads

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  10. Election Commission of India submits list of newly elected members to the 17th Lok Sabha to the Hon'ble President of India

    No. ECI/PN/60/2019                                                                           Dated: 25th May, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Election Commission of India submits list of newly elected members to the 17th Lok Sabha to the Hon'ble President of India
     Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora along with  Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra, called on the Hon’ble President of India at 1230 hrs today (May 25, 2019). A copy of the Notification issued by the Election Commission of India in terms of Section 73 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, containing the names of Members elected to the House of the People – following General Elections to the 17th Lok Sabha – was submitted by them to the Hon’ble President.

    Afterwards, the Chief Election Commissioner, both the Election Commissioners and senior officers of the Election Commission of India went Rajghat to seek blessings of the Father of the Nation after the conclusion of the elections.
     
     
     

    10,335 downloads

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  11. Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019

    Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019.

     

    4,393 downloads

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  12. Schedule for election to 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency of Tamil Nadu

    No. ECI/PN/70/2019 
    Dated:    4th July, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject : Schedule for election to 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency of Tamil Nadu– Regarding.
    Notification calling General Election to 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency of Tamil Nadu vide Notification No.464/EPS/2019(2) dated 19.03.2019 was rescinded by the President in pursuance of the Commission’s proceeding no. 464/ECI/LET/TERR/TN/SS-I/2019 dated 14.04.2019.  The Commission issued Press Note No.ECI/PN/49/2019 dated 16th April, 2019 in this regard.
    3. Now, the Commission has considered the matter and has decided to hold the General Election of 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency of Tamil Nadu. In pursuance of Sections 30 and 56 of the R.P.Act, 1951, as per the programme mentioned as under: -
    Poll Events
    Schedule
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    11.07.2019(Thursday)
    Last Date of Nominations
    18.07.2019(Thursday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    19.07.2019(Friday)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    22.07.2019(Monday)
    Date of Poll
    05.08.2019(Monday)
    Date of Counting
    09.08.2019(Friday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    11.08.2019(Sunday)
    ELECTORAL ROLL
    The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Parliamentary Constituency w.r.t 01.01.2019 as the qualifying date has been finally published.     
    ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES (EVMs) and VVPATs
    The Commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in the 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.
    IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
    In consonance with the past practice, the Commission has decided that the voter’s identification shall be mandatory in the aforementioned  election at the time of poll. Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter.  However, in order to ensure that no voter is deprived of his/her franchise, if his/her name figures in the electoral Rolls, separate instructions will be issued to allow additional documents for identification of voters at the time of poll in the said election.
    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 Parliamentary Constituency going for election is included, subject to partial modification as issued vide Commission’s instruction No.437/6/INST/2016-CCS, dated 29th June, 2017( available on the Commission’s website).  The Model Code of conduct shall be applicable to all candidates, political parties and State Government concerned.  The Model Code of Conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government for the district of the State concerned.

    567 downloads

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  13. General election to 17th Lok Sabha, 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim 2019 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of RP Act, 1951.

    No. ECI/PN/ 36/2019            Date:   23rd March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub: General election to 17th Lok Sabha, 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim 2019 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of RP Act, 1951.
    The Schedule for holding general election to the 17th Lok Sabha 2019 and Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim 2019 has been announced on 10th March, 2019.  Poll is scheduled to be held in multiple phases. Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. The relevant portions of the said Section 126 are re-produced below:
    (126. Prohibition of public meeting during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion ofpoll-
    (1) No person shall-
    (a).....................
    (b) Display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus;
    (c)........................
    In any polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in the polling area.
    (2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
    (3) In this Section, the expression “election mater” means any.matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election)
    2. During elections, there are sometimes allegations of violation of the provisions of the above Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 by TV channels in the telecast of their panel discussions/debates and other news and current affairs programmes. The Commission has clarified in the past that the said Section 126 prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. "Election matter" has been defined in that Section as any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election. Violation of the aforesaid provisions of Section 126 is punishable with imprisonment upto a period of two years, or with fine or both.
    3. The Commission once again reiterates that the TV/Radio channels and cable networks/internet website/social media platforms should ensure that the contents of the programmes telecast/broadcast/ displayed by them during the period of 48 hours referred to in Section 126 do not contain any material, including views/appeals by panelists/participants that may be construed as promoting/ prejudicing the prospect of any particular party or candidate(s) or influencing/ affecting the result of the election. This shall, among other things include display of any opinion poll and of standard debates, analysis, visuals and sound-bytes.
    4. In this connection, attention is also invited to Section 126A of the R.P. Act 1951, which prohibits conduct of Exit poll and dissemination of its results during the period mentioned therein, i.e. the hour fixed for commencement of poll in the first phase and half an hour after the time fixed for close of poll for the last phase in all the States.
    5. During the period not covered by Section 126, concerned TV/Radio/Cable/FM channels/internet websites/Social Media platforms are free to approach the state/ district/ local authorities for necessary permission for conducting any broadcast/Telecast related events (other than exit polls) which must also conform to the provisions of the model code of conduct, the programme code laid down by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the Cable Network  (Regulation)  Act  with  regard to decency,  maintenance  of communal  harmony,  etc.  All Internet websites and Social Media platforms must also comply with the provisions of The Information      Technology      Act,      2000     and      ECI     guidelines No-491/SM/2013/Communication, dt 25thOctober,2013, for all political content on their platform. As regards political advertisement, the same needs pre-certification by the Committees set up at State/District level as per the Commission's order  No. 509/75/2004/JS-I, dt 15th April,2004.
    6. Attention of all print media is also drawn to the following guidelines issued    by Press Council of India to follow for observance during the election:
    i. It will be the duty of the Press to give objective reports about elections and the candidates.  The newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate/party or incident during the elections.  In practice, two or three closely contesting candidates attract all the media attention. While reporting on the actual campaign, a newspaper may not leave out any important point raised by a candidate and make an attack on his or her opponent. ii. Election campaign along communal or caste lines is banned under the election rules. Hence, the Press should eschew reports, which tend to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between people on the ground of religion, race, caste, community orlanguage. iii. The Press should refrain from publishing false or critical statements in regard to the personal character and conduct of any candidate or in relation to the candidature or withdrawal of any candidate or his candidature, to prejudice the prospects of that candidate in the elections. The Press shall not publish unverified allegations against any candidate/party. iv. The Press shall not accept any kind of inducement, financial or otherwise, to project a candidate/party. It shall not accept hospitality or other facilities offered to them by or on behalf of any candidate/party.
    v. The Press is not expected to indulge in canvassing of a particular candidate/party. If it does, it shall allow the right of reply to the other candidate/party.
    vi. The Press shall not accept/publish any advertisement at the cost of public exchequer regarding achievements of a party/ governmentin power.
    vii. The Press shall observe all the directions/ orders/instructions of the Election Commission/Returning Officers or Chief Electoral Officer issued from time to time.
     
    7. Attention of the electronic media is invited to the "Guidelines for Election Broadcasts" issued by NBSA dt 3rd March, 2014.
    i. News broadcasters should endeavour to inform the public in an objective manner, about relevant electoral matters, political parties, candidates, campaign issues and voting processes as per rules and regulations laid down under The Representation of the People Act 1951 and by the Election Commission of India. ii. News channels shall disclose any political affiliations, either towards a party or candidate. Unless they publicly endorse or support a particular party or candidate, news broadcasters have a duty to be balanced and impartial, especially in their election reporting.
    iii. News broadcasters must endeavour to avoid all forms of rumor, baseless speculation and disinformation, particularly when these concern specific political parties or candidates. Any candidate/political party, which has been defamed or is a victim of misrepresentation, misinformation or other similar injury by broadcast of information should be afforded prompt correction, and where appropriate granted an opportunity of reply.
    iv. News broadcasters must resist all political and financial pressures which may affect coverage of elections and election related matters.
    v. News broadcasters should maintain a clear distinction between editorial and expert opinion carried on their news channels.
    vi. News broadcasters that use video feed from political parties should disclose it and appropriately tagged.
    vii. Special care must be taken to ensure that every element of news/ programmes dealing with elections and election related matters is accurate on all facts relating to events, dates, places and quotes. If by mistake or inadvertence any inaccurate information is broadcast, the broadcaster must correct it as soon as it comes to the broadcaster's notice with the same prominence as was given to the original broadcast.
    viii. News broadcasters, their journalists and officials must not accept any money, or valuable gifts, or any favour that could influence or appear to influence, create a conflict of interest or damage the credibility of the broadcaster or their personnel.
    ix. News broadcasters must  not  broadcast  any  form  of  'hate  speech' or other obnoxious content  that may lead  to incitement  of violence or promote public unrest or disorder as election campaigning based  on communal or caste factors is prohibited under Election Rules. News broadcasters should strictly avoid reports which tend to promote feelings of enmity or hatred among people, on the ground of religion, race, caste, community, region or language.
    x. News broadcasters are required to scrupulously maintain a distinction between news and paid content.  All paid content should be clearly marked as "Paid Advertisement" or "Paid Content”: and paid content must be carried in compliance with the "Norms & Guidelines on Paid News" dated 24.11.2011 issued by NBA.
    xi Special care must be taken to report opinion polls accurately and fairly, by disclosing to viewers as to who commissioned, conducted and paid for the conduct of the opinion polls and the broadcast. If a news broadcaster carries the results of an opinion poll or other election projection, it must also explain the context, and the  scope and limits of such polls with their limitations. Broadcast of opinion polls should be accompanied by information to assist viewers to understand the poll's significance, such as  the methodology used, the sample size, the margin of error, the fieldwork dates, and data used. Broadcasters should also disclose how vote shares  are converted to seat shares.
    xii. The broadcasters shall not broadcast any "election matter" i.e. any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election, during the 48 hours ending with the hours fixed for the conclusion of poll in  violation of Section 126(1)(b) of  the Representation of the People Act1951.
    xiii. The Election Commission of India (ECI) will monitor the broadcasts made by news broadcasters from the time elections are announced until the conclusion and announcement of election results. Any violation by member broadcasters reported to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) by the Election Commission will be dealt with by the NBSA under its regulations.
    xiv. Broadcasters should, to the extent possible, carry voter education programmes to effectively inform voters about the voting process,  the importance of voting, including how, when and where to vote, to register to vote and the secrecy of theballot.
    xv. News broadcasters must not air any final, formal and definite results until such results are formally announced by the Election Commission of India, unless such results are carried with clear disclaimer that they are unofficial or incomplete or partial results or projections which should not be taken as final results.
     
    8. Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has also developed a “Voluntary Code of Ethics” for all the participating social media platforms to ensure free, fair & ethical usage of their platforms to maintain integrity of electoral process during the general elections to the Lok Sabha 2019 and Legislative Assemblies of four states and the bye-elections being held simultaneously. Attention of all concerned Social Media platforms is invited to the following text of “Voluntary Code of Ethics” dt 20th March, 2019:   
    i. Participants will endeavour to, where appropriate and keeping in mind the principle of freedom of expression, deploy appropriate policies and processes to facilitate access to information regarding electoral matters on their products and/ or services.
    ii. Participants will endeavour to voluntarily undertake information, education and communication campaigns to build awareness including electoral laws and other related instructions. Participants will also endeavour to impart training to the nodal officer at ECI on their products/ services, including mechanism for sending requests as per procedure established by law.
    iii. Participants and the Election Commission of India (ECI) have developed a notification mechanism by which the ECI can notify the relevant platforms of potential violations of Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and other applicable electoral laws in accordance with procedures established by law. These valid legal orders will be acknowledged and/ or processed within 3 hours for violations reported under Section 126 as per the Sinha Committee recommendations. All other valid legal requests will be acted upon expeditiously by the Participants, based on the nature of reported violation.
    iv. Participants are creating/opening a high priority dedicated reporting mechanism for the ECI and appoint dedicated person(s) / teams during the period of General Elections to interface with and to exchange feedback as may assist with taking expeditious action upon receipt of such a lawful request, following due legal process, from the ECI.
    v. Participants will provide a mechanism for relevant political advertisers, in accordance with their obligations under law, to submit pre-certificates issued by ECI and/ or Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) of the ECI in relation to election advertisements that feature names of political parties, candidates for the 2019 General Elections. Further, Participants shall expeditiously process/action paid political advertisements lawfully notified to Participants by the ECI that do not feature such certification.
    vi. Participants will commit to facilitating transparency in paid political advertisements, including utilising their pre-existing labels/ disclosure technology for such advertisements.
    vii. Participants will, pursuant to a valid request received from the ECI, via Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) provide an update on the measures taken by them to prevent abuse of their respective platforms.
    viii. IAMAI will coordinate with the Participants on the steps carried out under this Code and IAMAI as well as Participants will be in constant communication with the ECI during the election period.
    The above guidelines should be duly observed for compliance by all the concerned media.

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  14. ECI appoints Two Special Expenditure Observers for Telangana and Sikkim Bye-Polls

    No.  ECI/PN/94/2019        
    Dated: 4th October, 2019
     
    ECI appoints Two Special Expenditure Observers for Telangana and Sikkim Bye-Polls
     
    In exercise of the powers conferred on it under Article 324 of the Constitution and Section 20B of The Representation of the People Act 1951, the Election Commission of India today appointed an ex-Indian Revenue Service officer –Mr. B. R. Balakrishnan (ex IRS 1983) and a serving Indian Revenue Service officer, Mr. Suresh Kumar (IRS 1988) as Special Expenditure Observers for the Bye-Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Telangana and Sikkim, respectively. 
    The Special Observers will be supervising and monitoring the work being done by the electoral machinery and ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken based on intelligence inputs and complaints received through C-VIGIL, Voter Helpline 1950 against the persons/entities trying to induce voters by distributing cash, liquor & freebies etc. in order to vitiate the poll process. 
    Mr. B.R. Balakrishnan had served as DGIT (Inv.),Bengaluru earlier and Mr. Suresh Kumar is presently posted as as Principal Commissioner of Income Tax (Central), Ahmedabad. 

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  15. ECI PRESS RELEASE ON VOTER TURNOUT DATA

    No. ECI/PN/61/2019    
    Dated: 1st June, 2019
    Press Note
    ECI PRESS RELEASE ON VOTER TURNOUT DATA
    Two categories of votes are counted to arrive at the final result of General Elections 2019, first is Votes polled in EVM by General voters from over 91.1 Crores electors at Polling Stations and second category is Postal Ballots returned from over18 Lakh Service voters and also from the polling personnel deployed for the poll duties, outside their Parliament Constituency in case of single elections and all polling personnel in case of simultaneous elections as was the case recently when besides the election to 17th Lok Sabha, the Assembly elections for four states namely Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim to Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha also went for poll.
    The provisional voter turnout data is displayed as percentage figure on Election Commission of India (ECI) Web site and Voter Helpline Mobile App on the poll day as uploaded by the Returning Officer(RO)/Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) based on the approximate percentage turnout figures obtained from Sector magistrates who in-turn get it periodically over phone/ in person from about 10 Presiding officers. After scrutiny of documents by the RO, provisional number of General voters’ turnout is compiled and uploaded on the ECI website based on the Polling Station wise tentative voter turnout data reported by the Presiding Officers, with male/female voter breakup, added together to get the PC wise provisional voter turnout. All these figures are provisional, based on estimates which are subject to change as is made clear from the disclaimer on the website that "the data is estimated and subject to change". This provisional voter turnout data is made available by ROs on regular intervals, which is collated by Chief Electoral Officers and ECI on the web site for wider dissemination and to ensure transparency in information dissemination.
    At the time of counting, postal ballots received up to 8 AM on Counting day are first pre-counted and valid Postal ballots are then taken up for after actual counting for both of the categories a. the Service voters and b. the polling personnel deployed for the poll duties. The Postal ballot count is added to the EVM General voters’ count to give the final votes polled in every PC and the votes secured candidate wise and the winning candidate is given return certificate in form 21E by the Returning Officers.
    Based on both the EVM votes and Postal Ballots counted, the Returning Officer prepares Form 21E and Index Card in which the breakup of voter turnout, including tendered votes for the Constituency, is tallied to get the final voter turnout for each Constituency. Form 21E is the return of election as specified under rule 64 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, for which the sole authority is the Returning Officer concerned. Also, INDEX CARD in use since last over five decades, is prepared by the Returning officer to furnish the voting data (including postal ballot data), polled and counted, after the declaration of the Result, which becomes the final authenticated data for all purposes including analysis and research. For General Elections 2019, Commission has already directed all the Returning Officers on 26th March 2019 to send the INDEX CARDS within 15 days of the declaration of the Result.
    In earlier elections, it used to take months to collect such authenticated election data from all the ROs. Even in 2014, it took between 2 to 3 months after the declaration of results to collect and collate such data in authenticated form. Due to the innovative IT initiatives taken by the Commission this time, the final data on votes counted has been made available within a few days of declaration of results. The reconciliation of voters’ data for all PCs have been completed in all states and the Index Forms of all 542 PCs are expected to reach ECI from Returning Officers shortly, which after compilation, shall be immediately be made Public by the Election Commission.
    As made out clear in above paras, the provisional voter turnout data reported on ECI Website is only the tentative number of voters and not the final nos. therefore it is incorrect inference to find Ghost voters when there are none.
     

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  16. General Election to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim 2019 and bye elections to 37 Assembly Constituencies of 12 States to be held simultaneously – Ban on Exit Poll.

    No. ECI/PN/45/2019                                                            Dated: 08th April, 2019
    Press Note
    General Election to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim 2019 and bye elections to 37 Assembly Constituencies of 12 States to be held simultaneously – Ban on Exit Poll.
    Election Commission of India, in exercise of the powers under sub-section(1) of Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 has notified the period between 7.00 A.M. on 11.04.2019 (Thursday) and 6.30 P.M. on 19.05.2019 (Sunday) as the period during which conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicizing  the result of exit poll by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner shall be prohibited during the ongoing General election to the  Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim 2019 and bye elections from assembly constituencies.
    Further, under Section 126(1) (b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, would be prohibited during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in each of the phases in the respective polling area during the aforesaid elections.
    Notification dated 7th April, 2019 issued in this regard is enclosed herewith for the information of all concerned.
     

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  17. Schedule for General Elections to fill Vacancy from 96-Patkura Assembly Constituency in the State Legislative Assembly of Odisha where poll was adjourned.

    No. ECI/PN/69/2019
    Dated: 04th July, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Schedule for General-elections to fill vacancy from 96 – Patkura Assembly Constituency in the State Legislative Assembly of Odisha where poll was adjourned – Regarding.
    The General Election to Legislative Assembly of Odisha was scheduled in four phases. 96-Patkura AC from Odisha was scheduled for poll on 29.04.2019 in th 4th Phase. Sh. Bed Prakash Agarwalla, contesting candidate of BJD (Biju Janata Dal) from 96-Patkura AC died on 20.04.2019, the detailed schedule of the poll was as follows:
    Issue of Notification
    02-04-2019
    Last Date for filing Nominations
    09-04-2019
    Scrutiny of Nominations
    10-04-2019
    Last date for withdrawal
     of Candidature
    12-04-2019
    Date of Poll
    29-04-2019
    Counting of Votes
    23-05-2019
    Date before which the election
     shall be completed
    27-05-2019
    In this connection, the poll under section 52(1)(c) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 on account of death of contesting candidate was adjourned by Returning Officer. Further, the Commission vide its notice dated 24.04.2019 to the concerned recognized state party (BJD) called upon to nominate another candidate for the said election within 7 days of the issue of the such notice under the provisions of section 52(2) of R.P. Act, 1951.
    Consequently, the Commission vide its notification No. 492/ECI/NOT/TERR/ES-II/OR-LA/2019 dated 24.04.2019 notified the schedule of adjourned poll, which was as follows:
    Last Date for making Nominations
    01-05-2019
    Scrutiny of Nominations
    02-05-2019
    Last date for withdrawal
     of Candidature
    04-05-2019
    Date of Poll
    19-05-2019
    Counting of Votes
    23-05-2019
    Date before which the election
     shall be completed
    27-05-2019
     
    In view of “FANI” cyclone, the CEO Odisha proposed to postpone the schedule of elections mentioned above with date of poll on 19.05.2019. Accordingly, the Commission decided to extend the completion of the election from 96-Patkura AC for 60 days.
    Now, the Commission after taking into consideration various factors like, festivals, electoral rolls, etc., the Commission has decided to hold the adjourned poll to fill this vacancy as per the programme mentioned as under: -
    Date of Poll
    20-07-2019 (Saturday)
    Counting of Votes
    24-07-2019 (Wednesday)
    Date before which the election
     shall be completed
    26-07-2019 (Friday)
    ELECTORAL ROLL
    The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Assembly Constituency w.r.t. 01.01.2019 as the qualifying date has been finally published.
    ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES (EVMs) and VVPATs
    The Commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in the 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.
    IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
    In consonance with the past practice, the Commission has decided that the voter’s identification shall be mandatory in the aforementioned election at the time of poll. Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter. However, in order to ensure that no voter is deprived of his/her franchise, if his/her name figures in the electoral rolls, separate instructions will be issued to allow additional documents for identification of voters at the time of poll in the said election.
    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 /6/1NST2016-CCS, dated 29th June, 2017 (available on the Commission's website). The Model Code of Conduct shall be applicable to all candidates, political parties and the State Government concerned. The Model Code of Conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government for the district of the State concerned.

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  18. Election to 8 Vellore Parliamentary Constituency stands rescinded ECI's decision based on reports of systematic design to influence voters, unearthed during Income Tax raids

    Election Commission of India
    Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001
    No. ECI/PN/49/2019                                                           Dated: 16th April, 2019
    Press Note
     
    Election to 8 Vellore Parliamentary Constituency stands rescinded ECI's decision based on reports of systematic design to influence voters, unearthed during Income Tax raids                                                                     
     
    The Election Commission of India made a recommendation to the Hon’ble President of India, under Article 324 of the Constitution read with Section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, to rescind the Election to 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency, Tamil Nadu vide its proceedings no.464/ECI/LET/TERR/TN/SS-I/2019 dated 14.4.2019.
    The decision of the ECIto make this recommendation was based on detection of  a systematic design to influence voters in 8- Vellore Parliamentary Constituency during the election process. Thereport of the DGIT(Inv.), Chennai, Sh. B. Murali Kumar, dated 5th of April 2019, details the search and seizure operations u/s 132 of the I.T. Act carried out on 29th and 30th of March, 2019 at the residence of Sh. Durai Murugan, MLA and Treasurer of DMK Party and Sh. Kathir Anand, s/o Sh. Durai Murugan and contesting candidate for Vellore Parliamentary Constituency and at Kingston medical College, run by the Durai Murugan Educational Trust. The search team observed that evidently there was prior rummaging of the premises and removal of material including the control panel of the CCTV as well as the hard disks of the computers. Further discreet surveillance resulted in the confirmation that a large amount of cash and other incriminating material had indeed been shifted out of the college premises while the teams were being denied entry. 
    Further as per DGIT report, based on the intelligence gathered during the discreet surveillance, certain premises of close associates of the candidate Shri Kathir Anand and their relatives were identified and fresh searches u/s 132 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, at Katapadi Taluk, Vellore District were initiated on 01.04.2019 at the residence of Sh. Damodaran, brother in law of Sh.Srinivasan, a DMK functionary.  The search operations of the Income Tax Department on 1.4.2019 yielded a total cash seizure of Rs.11.48 Crores, most of which was packed in plastic packets with ward wise details. In addition, unused labels, loose sheets with details of ward-wise breakup of voters and documents related to Kingston Engineering College were found from the residence of Sh. Damodaran. Sh.Srinivasan claimed the ownership of Rs.11.48 Crores and in his statement recorded u/s 131 of IT Act stated that the cash was meant to influence voters in favour of DMK’s candidate. The fact that the claimant does not have any explained source of income and that the documents found with the cash pertain to an institution run by the family of the DMK candidate lays bare the nexus between the candidate and the sums so found. 
    The Special Expenditure Observer, Ms. Madhu Mahajan, filed a report on 8.4.2019 stating that the searches had unearthed a systematic design to influence voters through inducements and that such activities come under the ambit of  “corrupt practices” as per Section 123 of the RP Act, 1951.The Special Expenditure Observer was of the opinion that the situation is not conducive for the conduct of free and fair elections.
    The CEO Tamil Nadu filed his report on the 12.4.2019, wherein he has stated that the cash seizure of Rs. 11.48 Cr. along with evidence in the form of computer printouts detailing proposed assembly segment, ward and booth wise money distribution suggests a clear-cut pattern and design to induce the electors at a large scale across the Vellore Parliamentary Constituency. This organised way of inducement of voters had vitiated the electoral environment which was now not conducive for conducting inducement free, ethical election in Vellore Parliamentary Constituency at this juncture. 
    After taking into account all relevant facts and circumstances of the present case, the Commission was fully satisfied that the current electoral process in the said 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency in Tamil Nadu has been seriously vitiated on account of the above-mentioned unlawful activities on behalf of the candidate, Sh. Kathir Anand, and some members/ workers of the political party in question. In the Commission’s considered opinion, allowing the current electoral process to proceed and conducting the poll in the constituency on 18thApril, 2019, as scheduled, in such a vitiated atmosphere would have severely jeopardised the conduct of free and fair election in the said 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency. 
    The Hon’ble President, accepting the recommendation of the Election Commission of India, made in this regard, is pleased to partially rescind Notification No.1389(E) dt.19th March 2019 in so far as it relates to calling upon the said 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency in Tamil Nadu to elect a member to the Lok Sabha. 
     
     
     
     
     

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  19. General Election to Legislative Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra 2019- Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/ State Political Parties -regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/89/2019/Communication
    Dated: 24th September, 2019 
    PRESS NOTE
    General Election to Legislative Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra 2019- Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/ State Political Parties -regarding. 
    A copy of the Commission's Order No.437/TA-LA/1/2019/Communication, dated 24th September, 2019 regarding allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/State political parties in the General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra, 2019 is enclosed for the information of the general public. 

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  20. General election to the State Legislative Assemblies of Haryana & Maharashtra, 2019 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of the RP Act, 1951.

    ECI/PN/92/2019     
    Date: 26th September, 2019
     
    PRESS NOTE
    General election to the State Legislative Assemblies of Haryana & Maharashtra, 2019 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of the RP Act, 1951.
    The Schedule for holding General Election to the State Legislative Assemblies of Haryana & Maharashtra 2019 has been announced on 21st September, 2019.  Poll is scheduled to be held in single phase in both the states on 21.10.2019. Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. The relevant portions of the said Section 126 are re-produced below:
    (126. Prohibition of public meeting during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion of poll-
    (1) No person shall-
    (a).....................
    (b) Display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus;
    (c)........................
    In any polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in the polling area.
    (2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
    (3) In this Section, the expression “election mater” means any.matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election)
    2. During elections, there are sometimes allegations of violation of the provisions of the above Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 by TV channels in the telecast of their panel discussions/debates and other news and current affairs programmes. The Commission has clarified in the past that the said Section 126 prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. "Election matter" has been defined in that Section as any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election. Violation of the aforesaid provisions of Section 126 is punishable with imprisonment upto a period of two years, or with fine or both.
    3. The Commission once again reiterates that the TV/Radio channels and cable networks/internet website/social media platforms should ensure that the contents of the programmes telecast/broadcast/ displayed by them during the period of 48 hours referred to in Section 126 do not contain any material, including views/appeals by panelists/participants that may be construed as promoting/ prejudicing the prospect of any particular party or candidate(s) or influencing/ affecting the result of the election. This shall, among other things include display of any opinion poll and of standard debates, analysis, visuals and sound-bytes.
    4. In this connection, attention is also invited to Section 126A of the R.P. Act 1951, which prohibits conduct of Exit poll and dissemination of its results during the period mentioned therein, i.e. the hour fixed for commencement of poll and half an hour after the time fixed for close of poll in both the States.
    5. During the period not covered by Section 126, concerned TV/Radio/Cable/FM channels/internet websites/Social Media platforms are free to approach the state/ district/ local authorities for necessary permission for conducting any broadcast/Telecast related events (other than exit polls) which must also conform to the provisions of the model code of conduct, the programme code laid down by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the Cable Network  (Regulation)  Act  with  regard to decency,  maintenance  of communal  harmony,  etc.  All Internet websites and Social Media platforms must also comply with the provisions of The Information      Technology      Act,      2000     and      ECI     guidelines No-491/SM/2013/Communication, dt 25thOctober, 2013, for all political content on their platform. As regards political advertisement, the same needs pre-certification by the Committees set up at State/District level as per the Commission's order  No. 509/75/2004/JS-I, dt 15th April,2004.
    6. Attention of all print media is also drawn to the following guidelines issued    by Press Council of India to follow for observance during the election:
    i. It will be the duty of the Press to give objective reports about elections and the candidates.  The newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate/party or incident during the elections.  In practice, two or three closely contesting candidates attract all the media attention. While reporting on the actual campaign, a newspaper may not leave out any important point raised by a candidate and make an attack on his or her opponent. ii. Election campaign along communal or caste lines is banned under the election rules. Hence, the Press should eschew reports, which tend to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between people on the ground of religion, race, caste, community orlanguage. iii. The Press should refrain from publishing false or critical statements in regard to the personal character and conduct of any candidate or in relation to the candidature or withdrawal of any candidate or his candidature, to prejudice the prospects of that candidate in the elections. The Press shall not publish unverified allegations against any candidate/party. iv. The Press shall not accept any kind of inducement, financial or otherwise, to project a candidate/party. It shall not accept hospitality or other facilities offered to them by or on behalf of any candidate/party.
    v. The Press is not expected to indulge in canvassing of a particular candidate/party. If it does, it shall allow the right of reply to the other candidate/party.
    vi. The Press shall not accept/publish any advertisement at the cost of public exchequer regarding achievements of a party/ governmentin power.
    vii. The Press shall observe all the directions/ orders/instructions of the Election Commission/Returning Officers or Chief Electoral Officer issued from time to time.
    7. Attention of the electronic media is invited to the "Guidelines for Election Broadcasts" issued by NBSA dt 3rd March, 2014.
    i. News broadcasters should endeavour to inform the public in an objective manner, about relevant electoral matters, political parties, candidates, campaign issues and voting processes as per rules and regulations laid down under The Representation of the People Act 1951 and by the Election Commission of India. ii. News channels shall disclose any political affiliations, either towards a party or candidate. Unless they publicly endorse or support a particular party or candidate, news broadcasters have a duty to be balanced and impartial, especially in their election reporting.
    iii. News broadcasters must endeavour to avoid all forms of rumor, baseless speculation and disinformation, particularly when these concern specific political parties or candidates. Any candidate/political party, which has been defamed or is a victim of misrepresentation, misinformation or other similar injury by broadcast of information should be afforded prompt correction, and where appropriate granted an opportunity of reply.
    iv. News broadcasters must resist all political and financial pressures which may affect coverage of elections and election related matters.
    v. News broadcasters should maintain a clear distinction between editorial and expert opinion carried on their news channels.
    vi. News broadcasters that use video feed from political parties should disclose it and appropriately tagged.
    vii. Special care must be taken to ensure that every element of news/ programmes dealing with elections and election related matters is accurate on all facts relating to events, dates, places and quotes. If by mistake or inadvertence any inaccurate information is broadcast, the broadcaster must correct it as soon as it comes to the broadcaster's notice with the same prominence as was given to the original broadcast.
    viii. News broadcasters, their journalists and officials must not accept any money, or valuable gifts, or any favour that could influence or appear to influence, create a conflict of interest or damage the credibility of the broadcaster or their personnel.
    ix. News broadcasters must  not  broadcast  any  form  of  'hate  speech' or other obnoxious content  that may lead  to incitement  of violence or promote public unrest or disorder as election campaigning based  on communal or caste factors is prohibited under Election Rules. News broadcasters should strictly avoid reports which tend to promote feelings of enmity or hatred among people, on the ground of religion, race, caste, community, region or language.
    x. News broadcasters are required to scrupulously maintain a distinction between news and paid content.  All paid content should be clearly marked as "Paid Advertisement" or "Paid Content”: and paid content must be carried in compliance with the "Norms & Guidelines on Paid News" dated 24.11.2011 issued by NBA.
    xi Special care must be taken to report opinion polls accurately and fairly, by disclosing to viewers as to who commissioned, conducted and paid for the conduct of the opinion polls and the broadcast. If a news broadcaster carries the results of an opinion poll or other election projection, it must also explain the context, and the scope and limits of such polls with their limitations. Broadcast of opinion polls should be accompanied by information to assist viewers to understand the poll's significance, such as  the methodology used, the sample size, the margin of error, the fieldwork dates, and data used. Broadcasters should also disclose how vote shares  are converted to seat shares.
    xii. The broadcasters shall not broadcast any "election matter" i.e. any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election, during the 48 hours ending with the hours fixed for the conclusion of poll in  violation of Section 126(1)(b) of  the Representation of the People Act1951.
    xiii. The Election Commission of India (ECI) will monitor the broadcasts made by news broadcasters from the time elections are announced until the conclusion and announcement of election results. Any violation by member broadcasters reported to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) by the Election Commission will be dealt with by the NBSA under its regulations.
    xiv. Broadcasters should, to the extent possible, carry voter education programmes to effectively inform voters about the voting process,  the importance of voting, including how, when and where to vote, to register to vote and the secrecy of theballot.
    xv. News broadcasters must not air any final, formal and definite results until such results are formally announced by the Election Commission of India, unless such results are carried with clear disclaimer that they are unofficial or incomplete or partial results or projections which should not be taken as final results.
    8. Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has also developed a “Voluntary Code of Ethics” for all the participating social media platforms to ensure free, fair & ethical usage of their platforms to maintain integrity of electoral process during the General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019. As agreed by IAMAI, vide letter dated 23.09.2019, the “Voluntary Code of Ethics” shall be observed during all elections. Accordingly, the Code is also applicable in Haryana & Maharashtra Assembly Elections and the Bye-Elections to various Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Constituencies being held simultaneously and all future elections. Attention of all concerned Social Media platforms is invited to the following text of “Voluntary Code of Ethics” dt 20th March, 2019:   
    i. Participants will endeavour to, where appropriate and keeping in mind the principle of freedom of expression, deploy appropriate policies and processes to facilitate access to information regarding electoral matters on their products and/ or services.
    ii. Participants will endeavour to voluntarily undertake information, education and communication campaigns to build awareness including electoral laws and other related instructions. Participants will also endeavour to impart training to the nodal officer at ECI on their products/ services, including mechanism for sending requests as per procedure established by law.
    iii. Participants and the Election Commission of India (ECI) have developed a notification mechanism by which the ECI can notify the relevant platforms of potential violations of Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and other applicable electoral laws in accordance with procedures established by law. These valid legal orders will be acknowledged and/ or processed within 3 hours for violations reported under Section 126 as per the Sinha Committee recommendations. All other valid legal requests will be acted upon expeditiously by the Participants, based on the nature of reported violation.
    iv. Participants are creating/opening a high priority dedicated reporting mechanism for the ECI and appoint dedicated person(s) / teams during the period of General Elections to interface with and to exchange feedback as may assist with taking expeditious action upon receipt of such a lawful request, following due legal process, from the ECI.
    v. Participants will provide a mechanism for relevant political advertisers, in accordance with their obligations under law, to submit pre-certificates issued by ECI and/ or Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) of the ECI in relation to election advertisements that feature names of political parties, candidates for the Haryana & Maharashtra Assembly Elections and the Bye-Elections to various Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Constituencies being held simultaneously. Further, Participants shall expeditiously process/action paid political advertisements lawfully notified to Participants by the ECI that do not feature such certification.
    vi. Participants will commit to facilitating transparency in paid political advertisements, including utilising their pre-existing labels/ disclosure technology for such advertisements.
    vii. Participants will, pursuant to a valid request received from the ECI, via Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) provide an update on the measures taken by them to prevent abuse of their respective platforms.
    viii. IAMAI will coordinate with the Participants on the steps carried out under this Code and IAMAI as well as Participants will be in constant communication with the ECI during the election period.
    The above guidelines should be duly observed for compliance by all the concerned media.

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  21. SCHEDULE FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS, 2019-CORRIGENDUM

    SCHEDULE FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS, 2019-CORRIGENDUM 

    3,963 downloads

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  22. ECI to host the 4th General Assembly of Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) at Bengaluru India to take over as A-WEB Chair for 2019-21

    No. ECI/PN/80/2019                                                                                  Dated: 1st September, 2019
     
    ECI to host the 4th General Assembly of Association of 
    World Election Bodies (A-WEB) at Bengaluru 
    India to take over as A-WEB Chair for 2019-21
     
    The Election Commission of India is scheduled to host the 4th General Assembly of Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) at Bengaluru on 3rd September 2019.  India will take over as A-WEB’s Chair for the 2019-21 term. Over 50 countries across the globe will join the meeting at Bengaluru from 02nd to 04th September, 2019. An International Conference on “Initiatives and Challenges of Social Media and Information Technology in Elections” will also be held on 04th September, 2019. 
    The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.  A-WEB was established on October 14, 2013 in Song-do, South Korea. The permanent secretariat of A-WEB is located at Seoul. A-WEB’s vision is to foster efficiency and effectiveness in conducting free, fair, transparent and participative elections worldwide. Its activities are guided by its mission to identify latest trends, challenges and developments in democratic electoral management and electoral processes and to facilitate appropriate exchange of experience and expertise among members with the objective of strengthening electoral democracy worldwide.
    Election Commission of India has been very closely associated with the process of formation of  A-WEB since 2011-12. ECI has been its Executive Board Member since AWEB's inception in October 2013 for two consecutive terms (2013-15 and 2015-17).  At the last A-WEB General Assembly held in Bucharest on 31st August, 2017, Romania took over as Chair and ECI was unanimously elected as Vice-Chair of A-WEB 2017-19. India is all set to take over as Chair now for the 2019-21 term.
    At present A-WEB has 115 EMBs as Members & 20 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members. 24 EMBs from Asia, 37 from Africa, 31 from America, 17 from Europe &  6 from Oceania presently are members of A WEB. ECI will continue to remain on the Executive Board of A-WEB for   2021-23 in its capacity as immediate former Chair of A-WEB.
    The current Executive Board of A WEB 2017-19 has 21 members wherein Dominican Republic as the Immediate Past Chair; 5 members from Africa namely Burkina Faso/Guinea/Kenya/Malawi/Tunisia; 4 members from Americas -Argentina/Colombia/El Salvador/Paraguay; 4 members from Asia - Bangladesh/Palestine/Taiwan/Uzbekistan; 3 members from Europe - Albania/Belarus/Croatia and Fiji as the member from Oceania are included.
    Over 120 Participants from more than 50 countries across the globe will join the A WEB events scheduled in Bengaluru from 02nd to 04th September, 2019. By far this is the largest congregation of EMB delegates in India. Meeting of the Executive Board of A-WEB will be held on 02 Sep. 2019; Next day on Tuesday, the 3rd September, General Assembly of A-WEB will be held where India will take over as Chair of A-WEB for 2019-2021 term. Chief Election Commissioner of India 
    Sh Sunil Arora would preside over the General Assembly meeting. Detailed deliberations at the A-WEB General Assembly include discussion on Challenges and future of furthering partnership amongst EMBs; appointment of office bearers; programmes and activities to be undertaken by A-WEB during 2020, etc. 
    On the 4th of September, an International Conference on “Initiatives and Challenges of Social Media and Information Technology in Elections" will be held. Eleven countries namely Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia - Herzegovina, Cameroon, Malawi, Mauritius, Palestine, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone and Togo would make their presentations on the subject. 
    A-WEB was founded with the shared vision among its members of achieving sustainable democracy around the world. A-WEB aims at strengthening the processes of election management in member countries.  Since, its inception       A-WEB has undertaken election ICT Programmes in various countries like Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Fiji, Papua Guinea and Samoa. A-WEB also undertakes Election Visitor and Observation Programmes in various countries to study various election management practices and share knowledge with other Member of EMBs.  The association has organized such EVPs to Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ecuador. The A-WEB Secretariat also undertakes Election Management Capacity Building Programme for the officials from Member EMBs. Since 2014, it has conducted more than 89 programmes for over 645 participants from over 70 countries.
     

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  23. Election Commission of India organizes refresher trainings for State Level Electoral Literacy Clubs’ Trainer

    ECI/PN/93/2019        
    Date: 30th September, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Election Commission of India organizes refresher trainings for State Level Electoral Literacy Clubs’ Trainer
    The third 2 days’ workshop on Electoral Literacy Clubs (ELCs)for State Level Master Trainers & SVEEP Nodal Officer of Election Commission of India commenced on 30th September, 2019 at the IIIDEM Campus, New Delhi.  After Lok Sabha Election 2019, it was decided to conduct workshops for effective establishment and working of ELCs as well as to strategize on the way forward.  Two such workshops have already been held on 23-24 and 26-27 September, 2019.
    The Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. Sunil Arora inaugurated ELC exhibition, wherein glimpses of the ELC activities carried out in the workshops were shown to the Commission alongwith ELC resources. Thereafter, addressing the special session of the workshop, Chief Election Commissioner, Sh Sunil Arora said, “Despite attaining a historic turnout we should strive for more and make sustained & dedicated efforts to sensitise people from all over the communities and enhance participation even further.  While interacting with the participants, he said, “You all are brick and mortar of the SVEEP programme of ECI. Having been entrusted with the responsibility of being part of this gigantic effort, I urge you to be pioneers of the ELC project on the field and ensure that the power of indelible ink represents all.”  Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, Shri Umesh Sinha and Director General of IIIDEM ShDharmendra Sharma were also present at the occasion along with other senior officers of Election Commission of India. 
    Briefing on ELC project, Sr DEC ShUmesh Sinha emphasized on the importance of having a strong foundation, he stated that“Unless you have a proper root, the grass will not grow. Our aim is to have all eligible voters to register in the electoral roll and ensure it is 100% error free in order to strengthen our democracy even further. One of the main objectives of Voter Education is to make the voters informed and ethical and help in enhancing their participation.  He further added that the ELC project requires a robust movement and momentum by all present by reaching out to schools, colleges, communities, organizations etc.’ Mr. Sinha envisioned further that stating Electoral literacy Club would be the biggest electoral literacy movement in the world and through this we can ful fill the aim of  ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’ .
    Under its flagship programme ‘Systematic Voters’ Education & Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP), the project for Mainstreaming of Electoral Literacy through Educational Institutions/ Organizations was introduced which envisages setting up of Electoral Literacy Club in every educational institution and Chunav Pathshala at every booth to cover those outside the formal education system.  Launched on 8th National Voters’ Day on 25th January, 2018, ELCs shall serve as a vibrant hub of Electoral Literacy for developing and strengthening the culture of electoral participation through hands on experience.Till now 5,80,620ELCs have been established across the country.
    The entire project revolves around keeping voter education relevant and practical through a host of co-curricular and extra-curricular methods for the young and future voters. The ELCs and Chunav Pathshala activities are conducted by the Convener using a resource Guide where step by step instructions are given for conducting each activity.  Separate Resource books have been developed for Class IX to XII, colleges and communities. A calendar of activities in a year has also been indicated.Total of 6-8 activities, with specific learning outcome, running into approximately 4 hours in all, have been identified for each category.
    The purpose of the workshop is to provide a refresher of ELC activities to the participants in order to ensure their preparedness for subsequent trainings that they shall be conducting with District Level Master Trainers. Commission’s endeavor is to make the ELC project sustainable and to achieve its vision of establishing 1.5 million ELCs in 2 hundred thousand secondary and senior secondary schools, 27 thousand colleges and universities and the 1 million polling stations. 
     

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  24. CEC Sh Sunil Arora Assumes Chairmanship of Association of World Election Bodies

    No. ECI/PN/82/2019
    Dated: 3rd September, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    CEC Sh Sunil Arora Assumes Chairmanship of Association of World Election Bodies
    4th General Assembly of AWEB Concludes at Bengaluru with New Vice Chairman Appointed from South Africa and New Secretary General from Republic of Korea
    An AWEB  Centre of Training, Research and Documentation to be set up at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management, New Delhi
     
    Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora today assumed Chairmanship of Association of World Election Bodies (AWEB) for the term 2019-21 as India takes over the Chair from Romania. India was unanimously nominated to be the Chair of AWEB at the last General Assembly held at Bucharest in 2017. The AWEB Flag was handed over to the new Chairman, Sh. Sunil Arora by the Representative of Outgoing Chair, Mr. Ion Mincu Radulescu, Advisor, Permanent Election Authority Romania. The Flag will remain with Election Commission of India for the two year term till 2021. More than 110 delegates from 45 countries attended the meeting. On this occasion, CEC Sh Sunil Arora along with the two Election Commissioners of India Sh. Ashok Lavasa and Sh. Sushil Chandra and Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Sh Umesh Sinha also launched ECI’s quarterly magazine – ‘VOICE International’ which shares best practices from more than 25 Countries..
    Convening the General Assembly as the new Chairman of AWEB, Sh Sunil Arora acknowledged that it was his privilege and pleasure to welcome all delegates to Bengaluru for the AWEB meetings. Citing Mahatma Gandhi’s writings, Sh Arora said “Democracy must in essence mean the art and science of mobilizing the entire physical, economic and spiritual resources of all the various sections of the people in the service of the common good of all”. Sh Arora also noted that the very Preamble of AWEB Charter spells out the vision of AWEB  wherein it mentions the need for strengthening cooperation between and among EMBs for the purpose of ensuring a credible electoral process in the world; committing to promote conditions conducive to free, fair, transparent and participative elections and to the development of a democratic culture in the world; promoting gender equality and the inclusion of People with Disabilities and other marginalized communities in the electoral process. More than two-third of global population now lives under democratic rule, he noted. 
    Accepting the responsibility as Chairman of AWEB, Sh Arora said ECI looks forward to further strengthening its interaction and partnership with AWEB Secretariat and member EMBs in promoting the activities of the Association as per its objectives and empowering the fellow EMBs through its capacity building programmes.  He thanked the Members for the trust and confidence reposed in the Election Commission of India. 
    The General Assembly also ratified the appointment of the new Vice Chairman of AWEB – Mr. Glen Vuma Mashinini, Chairperson of Election Commission of South Africa and the new Secretary General , Mr Jonghyun Choe, from Republic of Korea. Bidding farewell to Outgoing Secretary General Mr. Yong-Hi Kim A-WEB, Sh Arora complimented Mr Kim for steering the Secretariat in a professional and efficient manner and expanding the activities of A-WEB. Sh Arora placed on record deep gratitude to the Outgoing Chairman Mr. Constantin – Florin Mituletu – Buica, Hon’ble President of the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania for having shouldered the responsibility of the Chairperson of AWEB for the last two years.  Sh Arora commended the other Executive Board Members, as well as the Oversight and Audit Committee members for their valuable and professional contribution in the working of the A-WEB. Sh Arora assured the new team that he would extend wholehearted support and handholding as and when required to carry forward the ideals of AWEB.
    The 4th General Assembly of AWEB held at Bengaluru welcomed the EMBs from Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the Executive Board. EMBs from Burkina Faso, Mauritius and Samoa have been admitted to the Oversight and Audit Committee. EMBs from Ukraine, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Political Parties Registration Commission of Sierra Leone, Indonesia and Mauritius joined the A-WEB family as Members and the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) as an Associate Member.
    Sh Arora also noted that a number of nascent democracies are still working on to stabilize their political system through improving their electoral and legal systems. Shri Arora highlighted “This is where organizations such as A-WEB provide valuable contribution, professional support and advice by sharing innovations, experience and skills with support from and participation of its Members. Free, fair, credible and professionally managed elections form the bedrock of a healthy and vibrant democracy” Since its inception in October 2013, A-WEB has marched ahead empowering the democratic framework of member countries.    With 120 EMBs from 111 countries as its Members and 21 International Organisations as Associate Members, it has truly become the largest global organisation of Election Management Bodies providing momentum to the spread of electoral democracy, the Chair noted.   
    Shri Arora announced that an AWEB Centre would be setup at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management, New Delhi for documentation, research and training; for sharing best practices and capacity building among the members EMBs of the Association. The Institute has already conducted over 750 training programmes for over 27,000 election officials in India besides organising 62 International Capacity Building Programmes for over 1165 election officials from 96 countries.  Standard training modules for National & International participants are developed by a renowned team of Indian and International experts. The members greatly appreciated the generous offer from India to support capacity building program for other countries. 
    In his concluding remarks, Shri Arora again thanked all the Chief Election Commissioners and delegates of the EMBs coming from all over the World and spending their valuable time for the deliberations in the EB meeting and General Assembly.  He reiterated India’s commitment towards deepening of Democracies worldwide and said that India will do its best to carry forward the vision and objectives of AWEB. 
    India, the host nation for 4th general assembly, has been one of the founding members of the A-WEB. India hosted the three day AWEB meetings in Bengaluru. The International Conference on “Initiatives and Challenges of Social Media and Information Technology in Elections” will be held on 04th September, 2019, the concluding day of the AWEB meetings. 

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  25. Schedule for bye-election to fill Casual vacancies in the State Legislative Assembly of West Bengal-reg.

    Schedule for bye-election to fill Casual vacancies in the State Legislative Assembly of West Bengal-reg.
     

    735 downloads

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