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  1. General election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry, 2021

    General election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry, 2021
    Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal: 
    Poll Events
    Phase-I (30 ACs)
    Phase-II (30 ACs)
    Phase-III (31 ACs)
    Phase-IV (44 ACs)
    Phase-V (45 ACs)
    Phase-VI (43 ACs)
    Phase-VII (36 ACs)
    Phase-VIII (35 ACs)
    Date of Issue of Notification
    02.03.2021
    (Tuesday)
    05.03.2021
    (Friday)
    12.03.2021
    (Friday)
    16.03.2021
    (Tuesday)
    23.03.2021
    (Tuesday)
    26.03.2021
    (Friday)
    31.03.2021
    (Wednesday)
    31.03.2021
    (Wednesday)
    Last date of making nomination
    09.03.2021
    (Tuesday)
    12.03.2021
    (Friday)
    19.03.2021
    (Friday)
    23.03.2021
    (Tuesday)
    30.03.2021
    (Tuesday)
    03.04.2021
    (Saturday)
    07.04.2021
    (Wednesday)
    07.04.2021
    (Wednesday)
    Date of Scrutiny
    10.03.2021
    (Wednesday)
    15.03.2021
    (Monday)
    20.03.2021
    (Saturday)
    24.03.2021
    (Wednesday)
    31.03.2021
    (Wednesday)
    05.04.2021 
    (Monday)
    08.04.2021 
    (Thursday)
    08.04.2021
    (Thursday)
    Last date of withdrawal
    12.03.2021
    (Friday)
    17.03.2021
    (Wednesday)
    22.03.2021
    (Monday)
    26.03.2021
    (Friday)
    03.04.2021
    (Saturday)
    07.04.2021
    (Wednesday)
    12.04.2021
    (Monday)
    12.04.2021
    (Monday)
    Date of Poll
    27.03.2021
    (Saturday)
    01.04.2021
    (Thursday)
    06.04.2021
    (Tuesday)
    10.04.2021
    (Saturday)
    17.04.2021
    (Saturday)
    22.04.2021
    (Thursday)
    26.04.2021
    (Monday)
    29.04.2021
    (Thursday)
    Date of Counting
    02.05.2021
    (Sunday)
    02.05.2021
    (Sunday)
    02.05.2021
    (Sunday)
    02.05.2021
    (Sunday)
    02.05.2021
    (Sunday)
    02.05.2021
    (Sunday)
    02.05.2021
    (Sunday)
    02.05.2021
    (Sunday)
    Date of completion
    04.05.2021
    (Tuesday)
    04.05.2021
    (Tuesday)
    04.05.2021
    (Tuesday)
    04.05.2021
    (Tuesday)
    04.05.2021
    (Tuesday)
    04.05.2021
    (Tuesday)
    04.05.2021
    (Tuesday)
    04.05.2021
    (Tuesday)
      Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Assam: 
    Poll Events
    Phase-I (47 ACs)
    Phase-II (39 ACs)
    Phase-III (40 ACs)
    Date of Issue of Notification
    02.03.2021 
    (Tuesday)
    05.03.2021 
    (Friday)
    12.03.2021 
    (Friday)
    Last date of making nomination
    09.03.2021 
    (Tuesday)
    12.03.2021 
    (Friday)
    19.03.2021 
    (Friday)
     Date of Scrutiny
    10.03.2021 
    (Wednesday)
    15.03.2021 
    (Monday)
    20.03.2021 
    (Saturday)
    Last date of withdrawal
    12.03.2021 
    (Friday)
    17.03.2021 
    (Wednesday)
    22.03.2021 
    (Monday)
    Date of Poll
    27.03.2021 
    (Saturday)
    01.04.2021 
    (Thursday)
    06.04.2021 
    (Tuesday)
    Date of Counting
    02.05.2021 
    (Sunday)
    02.05.2021 
    (Sunday)
    02.05.2021 
    (Sunday)
    Date of completion
    04.05.2021 
    (Tuesday)
    04.05.2021 
    (Tuesday)
    04.05.2021 
    (Tuesday)
     Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Kerala: 
    Poll Events
    Single Phase (All 140 ACs)
    Date of Issue of Notification
    12.03.2021 
    (Friday)
    Last date of making nomination
    19.03.2021 
    (Friday)
    Date of Scrutiny
    20.03.2021 
    (Saturday)
    Last date of withdrawal
    22.03.2021 
    (Monday)
    Date of Poll
    06.04.2021 
    (Tuesday)
    Date of Counting
    02.05.2021 
    (Sunday)
    Date of completion
    04.05.2021 
    (Tuesday)
     Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Puducherry: 
    Poll Events
    Single Phase (All 30 ACs)
    Date of Issue of Notification
    12.03.2021 
    (Friday)
    Last date of making nomination
    19.03.2021 
    (Friday)
    Date of Scrutiny
    20.03.2021 
    (Saturday)
    Last date of withdrawal
    22.03.2021 
    (Monday)
    Date of Poll
    06.04.2021 
    (Tuesday)
    Date of Counting
    02.05.2021 
    (Sunday)
    Date of completion
    04.05.2021 
    (Tuesday)
    Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu: 
    Poll Events
    Single Phase (All 234 ACs)
    Date of Issue of Notification
    12.03.2021 
    (Friday)
    Last date of making nomination
    19.03.2021 
    (Friday)
    Date of Scrutiny
    20.03.2021 
    (Saturday)
    Last date of withdrawal
    22.03.2021 
    (Monday)
    Date of Poll
    06.04.2021 
    (Tuesday)
    Date of Counting
    02.05.2021 
    (Sunday)
    Date of completion
    04.05.2021 
    (Tuesday)

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  2. Nation celebrates 11th National Voters’ Day

    No. ECI/PN/07/2021    
    Dated: 25th January, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Nation celebrates 11th National Voters’ Day
    President attends National Level Celebrations in New Delhi in virtual, online mode
    ECI launches digital voter cards, unique web radio
    11th National Voters’ Day was celebrated across the country today on January 25, 2021 with the President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind gracing the national level event held at New Delhi in a virtual, online mode. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology graced the event as the Guest of Honour. The Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora, Election Commissioners Shri Sushil Chandra, Shri Rajiv Kumar, and Secretary General Shri Umesh Sinha received the dignitaries on the occasion. This year, due to COVID-19, the NVD celebrations all over the country would be a combination of both physical and virtual events.
    The theme for NVD 2021 is ‘Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed.’ This is a reiteration of the commitment of Election Commission of India (ECI) to conduct COVID-safe elections, as well as to make each voter informed, ethical and vigilant. 
    In his address, President Sh. Ram Nath Kovind said that we should always respect the valuable right to vote. The right to vote is not a simple right; people around the world have struggled a lot for this. Since independence, our Constitution has given equal voting rights to all citizens without any discrimination on the basis of merit, religion, race, caste. For this, we are indebted to the makers of our Constitution.
    The President said that the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, considered the right to vote as paramount. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all of us, especially our youth, who get the right to vote for the first time, to exercise their franchise with the utmost sincerity and inspire others too to do so.
    Praising the Election Commission of India for conducting successful and safe elections in Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, the President said that it is an extraordinary achievement of our democracy. He was happy to note that the Election Commission has taken a number of innovative and timely measures to conduct smooth, inclusive and safe elections.
    Guest of Honour, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad hailed the profound vision of India’s founding fathers who, despite the overwhelming odds against them, created a framework that would empower every single Indian. Speaking about the launch of digital voter cards, he appreciated the IT efforts of the Election Commission. He said that the officers of the Election Commission and civil and police administrations have played a vital role in ensuring free, fair, and peaceful election during challenging times of COVID-19. 
    Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora reiterated the Commission’s determination in conducting safe and secure elections, which was lauded by democracies across the world. Shri Arora took note of how the tireless efforts of the election machinery ensured that the facility of Postal Ballot was extended to Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens above the age of 80 years, and those quarantined due to COVID-19; effectively ensuring that no voter is left behind. As the Commission prepares for upcoming elections in four States and one Union Territory in 2021, Shri Arora emphasized the importance of the commitment towards redefining election management in a pandemic. 
    In his remarks Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra said that the 11th NVD is being celebrated with a view to enhance electoral participation of voters especially the new voters of the country and empower them as informed, ethical and vigilant voter. He said elections in India are a gigantic exercise conducted under superintendence, direction and control of the Commission. The exercise has its own challenges in terms of sheer scale, size, diversity and complexity besides logistics, aiming for free, fair and transparent elections. Timelines demand strict compliance with little room for any delays and mistakes. That is what makes our elections sacrosanct and model for others.
    Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar welcomed the august gathering of dignitaries and awardees to the national celebration of 11th National Voters' Day. His remarks also highlighted the scale and vastness of Indian elections. He said that despite the complexity of Indian elections, they are conducted meticulously, on schedule. He especially welcomed women voters, Persons with Disability, and Senior Citizens on the occasion.
    Two unique digital initiatives were unveiled today. The Commission is rolling out digital voter identity cards or e-EPICs which will be downloadable on mobile phone or in a self-printable form on the computer, after logging in from Voter Helpline Mobile App, Voter Portal (www.voterportal.eci.gov.in) or National Voters' Service Portal (www.nvsp.in/). 
    The Hon'ble President of India launched 'Radio Hello Voters' - a 24x7 online digital radio service that will stream voter awareness programmes accessible on the Election Commission of India website. Radio Hello Voters has been envisaged to provide information on electoral processes through songs, drama, discussions, podcasts, spots, parodies etc. in Hindi, English and different regional languages from all over the country. 
     Guest of Honour, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad presented five new voters with their Digital Voter ID cards. While only newly enrolled electors with unique mobile number during SSR 2021 can download e-EPIC from 25th January to 31st January 2021 – this facility will be extended to all other electors from 1st February 2021 onwards.
    On this occasion, the President virtually conferred the National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices to Officers for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections in different spheres. In addition, awards were also conferred on CSOs, Govt. Departments and Media Houses for their outstanding contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach. Representatives from Political Parties also attended the national function.
    Three publications were launched by Union Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad. The first book, Conducting Elections during Pandemic- A Photo Journey encapsulates the challenging journey of conducting elections amidst a pandemic. The second, SVEEP Endeavours: Awareness Initiatives during Lok Sabha Election 2019 provides a detailed insight into voter awareness interventions, innovations and initiatives during the 17th General Election, conducted in 2019. Chalo Karen Matdaan- a comic book that aims at voter education in a fun and thought-provoking way targeting young, new and future voters was also launched at the event.
    National Voters’ Day is celebrated all over the country on January 25 every year since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on this day in the year 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize the enrollment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the Day is utilized to spread awareness among voters for promoting informed participation in the electoral process.
    Download link for National Voters’ Day Brochure: 
    https://ecisveep.nic.in/files/file/1391-national-voters-day-2021-brochure/

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  3. 11th National Voters’ Day (NVD) to be celebrated on 25th January 2021

    No. ECI/PN/06/2021                                                 
    Dated: 24th January 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    11th National Voters’ Day (NVD) to be celebrated on 25th January 2021
    Theme for this year’s NVD is ‘Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed’
     
    Election Commission of India is celebrating 11th National Voters Day on 25th January 2021. 
    Honourable President of India, Sri Ram Nath Kovind will be the Chief Guest at the national function being organized in New Delhi by the Election Commission of India. The event will be held at the Ashok Hotel, New Delhi and the Honourable President shall grace the occasion virtually from Rashtrapati Bhawan.
    Sri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Honourable Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology will grace the function as the Guest of Honour.
    The theme for this year’s NVD, ‘Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed’, envisages active and participative voters during elections. It also focuses on ECI’s commitment towards conducting elections safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The National Voters’ Day has been celebrated on January 25 every year since 2011, all across the country to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India, i.e. 25th January 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize enrolment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the day is utilized to spread awareness among voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process. New voters are felicitated and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC) in the NVD functions.
    During the event, the Honourable President of India will confer the National Awards for the year 2020-21 and launch ECI’s Web Radio:‘Hello Voters’. The National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices will be conferred on State and District level officers for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections in different spheres such as IT initiatives, Security Management, Election Management during COVID-19, Accessible Election and contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach. National Awards will also be given to important stakeholders like national icons, CSOs and media groups for their valuable contribution towards voters’ awareness. 
    ECI’s Web Radio:‘Hello Voters’: This online digital radio service will stream voter awareness programmes. It will be accessible through a link on the Election Commission of India website. The programming style of Radio Hello Voters has been envisaged to match that of popular FM radio services. It will provide information and education on electoral processes through songs, drama, discussions, spots, stories of elections etc. in Hindi, English and regional languages from all over the country. 
    Sri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Honourable Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology will launch the e-EPIC programme and distribute e-EPICs and Elector Photo Identity Cards to five new voters.  e-EPIC, a digital version of the Elector Photo Identity Card can be accessed through the Voter Helpline App and websites https://voterportal.eci.gov.in/ and https://www.nvsp.in/.  
    Honourable Minister, Mr. Prasad will also release three publications of the Election Commission during the event. Copies of these documents will be presented to the Honourable President of India. 
    Details of the publications are given below:
    Conducting Election During Pandemic- A Photo Journey: This photo book encapsulates the challenging journey of conducting elections amidst a pandemic.  The Commission successfully conducted several elections in the country, beginning with the Biennial Election to the Rajya Sabha.  This was followed by Legislative Assembly Elections in Bihar, one of the biggest such exercises throughout the world during the pandemic. Bye-Elections were also conducted for 60 constituencies in various states of the country.  
    SVEEP Endeavours: Awareness initiatives during Lok Sabha Election, 2019: This book provides a detailed insight into voter awareness interventions, innovations and initiatives during the 17th General Election, conducted in 2019.  It documents the spirit of ‘Desh Ka Mahatyohar’, the biggest festival of democracy celebrated across the nation cutting through the barriers of gender, caste, creed and religion.
    Chalo Karen Matdaan: It is a comic book which aims at voter education in a fun and thought-provoking way. Targeting young, new and future voters, this comic contains interesting and relatable characters to educate voters at large on electoral processes.

    2,029 downloads

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  4. Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancy in the Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala and Tamil Nadu – Regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/ 17/2021
    Dated:  26th February, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE 
    Subject:  Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancy in the Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala and Tamil Nadu – Regarding. 
    The Commission has decided to hold bye-election to fill vacancies in   6-Malappuram PC of Kerala and 39-Kanniyakumari PC of Tamil Nadu.
    After taking into consideration various factors like local festivals, electoral rolls, weather conditions, movement of forces, pandemic etc., the Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to fill these vacancies as per the programme mentioned as under:  
    Poll Events
    Date and Day
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    12.03.2021
    (Friday)
    Last Date of Nominations
    19.03.2021
    (Friday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    20.03.2021
    (Saturday)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    22.03.2021
    (Monday)
    Date of Poll
    06.04.2021
    (Tuesday)
    Date of Counting
    02.05.2021
    (Sunday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    04.05.2021
    (Tuesday)
    1.   ELECTORAL ROLL
             The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2021 as the qualifying date has been finally published. 
    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
             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. 
    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). 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.
             All the instructions issued for General Elections to Legislative Assembly of Bihar, 2020 shall also be applicable to the aforementioned Bye-elections. 
    5.   BROAD GUIDELINES TO BE FOLLOWED DURING THE CONDUCT OF BYE-ELECTIONS DURING COVID-19
             In view of spread of COVID-19, the Commission on 21st August, 2020 has issued broad guidelines, which is to be followed strictly during the conduct of election, which is available on Commission’s website.  The Commission’s all instructions relating to conduct of General Election in Kerala and Tamil Nadu during the COVID-19 period shall also be mutatis mutandis applicable for all bye-elections.

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  5. Schedule for Bye-Elections in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies of Various States - reg.

    No. ECI/PN/ 28 /2021
    Dated: 16th March, 2021
     PRESS NOTE
    Subject:  Schedule for Bye-elections in Parliamentary/ Assembly Constituencies of various States – reg.
     The Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to fill vacancies in Two (2) Parliamentary Constituencies of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and Fourteen (14) vacancies in Assembly Constituencies of various States as per details given below: 
    Sl. No.
    State
    Constituency No. & Name 
    1.    
    Andhra Pradesh
    23-Tirupati (SC)
    2.    
    Karnataka
    2-Belgaum
     
    Sl. No.
    State
    Constituency No. & Name
     
    1.    
    Gujarat
    125– Morva Hadaf (ST)
    2.    
    Jharkhand
    13-Madhupur
    3.    
    Karnataka
    47-Basavakalyan
    4.    
    Karnataka
    59–Maski (ST)
    5.    
    Madhya Pradesh
    55-Damoh
    6.    
    Maharashtra
    252-Pandharpur
    7.    
    Mizoram
    26-Serchhip (ST)
    8.    
    Nagaland
    51-Noksen (ST)
    9.    
    Odisha
    110-Pipili
    10.      
    Rajasthan
    179- Sahara
    11.      
    Rajasthan
    24-Sujangarh (SC)
    12.      
    Rajasthan
    175-Rajsamand
    13.      
    Telangana
    87-Nagarjuna Sagar
    14.      
    Uttarakhand
    49-Salt

    After taking into consideration various factors like local festivals, electoral rolls, weather conditions, movement of forces, pandemic etc., the Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to fill these vacancies as per the programme mentioned as under:
    Poll Events
    Date and Day
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    23.03.2021 (Tuesday)
    Last Date of Nominations
    30.03.2021 (Tuesday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    31.03.2021 (Wednesday)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    03.04.2021 (Saturday)
    Date of Poll
    17.04.2021 (Saturday)
    Date of Counting
    02.05.2021 (Sunday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    04.05.2021 (Tuesday)
    1.   ELECTORAL ROLL
    The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2021 as the qualifying date has been finally published. 
    2.   ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES (EVMs) and VVPATs
             The Commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in these bye-election in all 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
             In continuance to the existing practice, 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, following alternate identity documents are also prescribed:
      Aadhar Card,   MNREGA Job Card,  Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office,  Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour,  Driving License,  PAN Card,  Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, Indian Passport, Pension document with photograph,  Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, and  Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs.  4.   MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
             Model code of conduct shall come into force with immediate effect in the district(s) in which the whole or any part of the Parliamentary/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 https://eci.gov.in/) (copy enclosed). 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 also.        
    5.   VOTER INFORMATION SLIPS (VIS)
    To facilitate the voter to know the serial number of electoral roll of his/her polling station, date of poll, time etc., the Commission vide letter dated 26.02.2021, has decided to issue ‘Voter Information Slip’ to the voters in place of Photo Voter Slip. Voter Information Slip will include information like Polling Station, Date, Time etc. but not the photograph of the voter. Voter Information Slip will be distributed at least 5 days before the date of poll to all enrolled electors, by the District Election Officer. However, Voter Information Slip will not be allowed as proof of identity of voters. It may be recalled that the Commission had discontinued Photo Voter Slips as an identity proof with effect from 28th February, 2019.     
    6.   BROAD GUIDELINES TO BE FOLLOWED DURING THE CONDUCT OF BYE-ELECTIONS DURING COVID-19
    In view of spread of COVID-19, the Commission on 21st August, 2020, issued broad guidelines, which is to be followed strictly during the conduct of elections, which is available on Commission’s website. 
    All instructions issued during General Election to Legislative Assemblies of Bihar, 2020 and General Elections to Legislative Assemblies of 5 States/UT shall also be mutatis mutandis applicable to the aforementioned bye-elections.

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  6. PRESS NOTE

    No. ECI/PN/05/2021                    
    Dated: 15th January 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Many instances have come to the notice of the Commission wherein Chief Electoral Officers and some other officials working directly in the office of Chief Electoral Officers, e.g., Additional Chief Electoral Officers and Joint Chief Electoral Officers, etc. have been victimised after the elections are over. Ironically, in most such instances the concerned officers had discharged their duties in an impartial manner in order to ensure free, fair, robust and ethical elections. After a comprehensive review of this issue and keeping in view such specific instances, Commission has addressed a communication to all concerned vide its letter No. 154/2020, dated 15-01-2021 interalia stating: -
    (i) The state/UT governments shall invariably obtain prior approval of the Commission, if any disciplinary action is initiated against the Chief Electoral Officers and other officers up to Joint Chief Electoral Officer during their tenure and also up to one year from the expiry of last election conducted by them. 
    (ii) Commission has also directed that the State/UT government shall not reduce facilities such as vehicle, security and other facilities/amenities provided to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer for proper discharge of his/her duties.
    2. Commission is sanguine in the expectation that all concerned shall strictly adhere to this regimen in letter as well as in spirit.
    3. Copy of the above instruction is available on the ECI website https://eci.gov.in.

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  7. Biennial Election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/03/2021
    Dated: 06th January, 2021
                                                                  
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub:- Biennial Election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of  Legislative Assembly (MLAs) –  reg.
    The term of 12 members of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council elected by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) is expiring on 30.01.2021. Details are given as under: -
     
    S. No
    Name of Member
    Date of Retirement
     
    1.       
    Dr. Dinesh Sharma
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    30.01.2021
     
     
     
    2.       
    Ahmad Hasan
    3.       
    Ashu Malik
    4.       
    Dharm Veer Singh Ashok
    5.       
    Nasimuddin Siddiqui
    (Vacant due to disqualification w.e.f 22.02.2018 vide order dated 21.07.2020 issued by The Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council)
    6.       
    Pradeep Kumar Jatav
    7.       
    Ramesh Yadav
    8.       
    Ramjatan
    9.       
    Laxman Prasad Acharya
            10.
    Virendra Singh
      11.
    Swatantra Dev
    12.
    Sahab Singh Saini
     2. The Commission has decided to conduct above mentioned biennial election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council by members of Legislative Assembly in accordance with the following programme:-
     
    S. No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.       
    Issue of Notification
    11th January, 2021 (Monday)
    2.       
    Last Date of making nominations
    18th January, 2021 (Monday)
    3.       
    Scrutiny of nominations
    19th January, 2021  (Tuesday)
    4.       
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    21st January, 2021 (Thursday)
    5.       
    Date of Poll
    28th January, 2021 (Thursday)
    6.       
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.       
    Counting of Votes
    28th January, 2021 (Thursday) at 05:00 pm
    8.       
    Date before which election shall be completed
    29th January, 2021 (Friday)
     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, Uttar 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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  8. Bye Election to the Karnataka Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/13/2021
    Dated: 18th February, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub:- Bye Election to the Karnataka Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.
    There is one casual vacancy in the Karnataka Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly. The details of the vacancy are as follows:
     
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    S. L. Dharmegowda
    By MLAs
    Death on 28.12.2020
    17.06.2024
     
    2.            The Commission has decided to hold a bye-election to the Karnataka 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
    25th February, 2021 (Thursday)
    2.        
    Last Date of making nominations
    04th March, 2021 (Thursday)
    3.        
    Scrutiny of nominations
    05th March, 2021  (Friday)
    4.        
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    08th March, 2021  (Monday)
    5.        
    Date of Poll
    15th March, 2021  (Monday)
    6.        
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.        
    Counting of Votes
    15th March, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.        
    Date before which election shall be completed
    18th March, 2021 (Thursday)
                                                                                                   
    3.            Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    I.             Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity
    II.            At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes:
    (a) Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out
    (b) Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations
    III.          Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs.
    4.            The Chief Secretary, 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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  9. Bye Elections to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/02/2021
    Dated: 06th January, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub:-  Bye Elections to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg. 
    There are two casual vacancies in the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly. The details of the vacancies are as follows: 
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    Sh. Vinod Narain Jha
    By MLAs
    Elected to Bihar Legislative Assembly on 11.11.2020
    21.07.2022
    Sh. Sushil Kumar Modi
    By MLAs
    Resignation on 09.12.2020
    06.05.2024
    2. The Commission has decided to hold two separate bye-elections to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of the Legislative Assembly to fill the above mentioned vacancies as per the following common schedule: - 
    S. No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.       
    Issue of Notifications
    11th January, 2021 (Monday)
    2.       
    Last Date of making nominations
    18th January, 2021 (Monday)
    3.       
    Scrutiny of nominations
    19th January, 2021  (Tuesday)
    4.       
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    21st January, 2021 (Thursday)
    5.       
    Date of Poll
    28th January, 2021 (Thursday)
    6.       
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.       
    Counting of Votes
    28th January, 2021 (Thursday) at 05:00 pm
    8.       
    Date before which election shall be completed
    01st February, 2021 (Monday)
    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, 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.

    234 downloads

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  10. Meeting of Union Home Secretary with Election Commission

    No. ECI/PN/04/2021                                         
    Dated: 12th January 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Meeting of Union Home Secretary with Election Commission
    Election Commission of India held an interactive meeting with Union Home Secretary Shri Ajay Bhalla, at Nirvachan Sadan today.
    The meeting was primarily to discuss requirement vis-à-vis availability of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), and related matters, for the upcoming Assembly Elections to the States of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, and the Union Territory of Puducherry. 

    465 downloads

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  11. Bye Elections to the Council of States from Gujarat -reg.

    No. ECI/PN/09/2021
    Dated: 04th February, 2021

    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:   Bye Elections to the Council of States from Gujarat -reg.
     There are two casual vacancies in the Council of States from Gujarat. The details of the vacancies are as follows: -
    Sl. No.
    Name of Members
    Reason
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    1.
    Shri Patel Ahmed Mohammad
    Death
    25.11.2020
    18.08.2023
    2.
    Shri Abhay Ganpatray Bhardwaj
    Death
    01.12.2020
    21.06.2026
    2.  The Commission has decided to hold two separate bye-elections to the Council of States from Gujarat to fill up the above mentioned vacancies as per the following common schedule: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates

    1 Issue of Notifications
      11th February, 2021 (Thursday)

    2 Last date of making nominations
    18th February, 2021 (Thursday)

    3 Scrutiny of nominations
    19th February, 2021  (Friday)

    4 Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    22nd February, 2021  (Monday)

    5 Date of Poll
    01st March, 2021 (Monday)

    6 Hours of Poll
    09:00 am-04:00 pm

    7 Counting of Votes
    01st March, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm

    8 Date before which election shall be completed
    03rd March, 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, Gujarat 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 elections.
    5.  Further, the Commission has also appointed the Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat as Observer for the said elections.          
     

    413 downloads

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  12. Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/01/2021
    Dated: 06th January, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub:-            Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg. 
    There is one casual vacancy in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly. The details of the vacancy are as follows: 
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    Smt. Pothula Sunitha
    By MLAs
    Resignation
    on 01.11.2020
    29.03.2023
    2. The Commission, has decided to hold a bye-election to the Andhra Pradesh 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 Notifications
    11th January, 2021 (Monday)
    2.       
    Last Date of making nominations
    18th January, 2021 (Monday)
    3.       
    Scrutiny of nominations
    19th January, 2021  (Tuesday)
    4.       
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    21st January, 2021 (Thursday)
    5.       
    Date of Poll
    28th January, 2021 (Thursday)
    6.       
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.       
    Counting of Votes
    28th January, 2021 (Thursday) at 05:00 pm
    8.       
    Date before which election shall be completed
    01st February, 2021 (Monday)
                                                                           
    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, 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.

    114 downloads

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  13. PRESS NOTE

    No. ECI/PN/19/2021 
    Dated: 27th February 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    The Commission vide its press note dated 26th February, 2021, had announced the schedule of General Elections to Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry. With this announcement, the provisions of Model Code of Conduct has come into force with immediate effect, which includes total ban on the transfers/postings of all officers connected with conduct of elections. It has come to the notice of Commission that Govt. of Assam has, on 26th February 2021, ordered the transfer of 12 IPS and 6 APS officers. The Commission has therefore decided to keep the transfer/posting of these police officers in abeyance till further orders.

    2,070 downloads

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  14. Biennial election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana from Graduates’ and Teachers’ Constituencies-reg.

    No. ECI/PN/10/2021
    Dated: 11th February, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:   Biennial election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana from Graduates’ and Teachers’ Constituencies-reg.
     The term of office of 02 members of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from Teachers’ Constituencies and 02 members of the Telangana Legislative Council from Graduates’ Constituencies is expiring on 29thMarch, 2021due to the retirement of the sitting members as detailed below: -
    Andhra Pradesh 
    Sl. No.
    Name of  Constituency
    Name of the Member
    Date of retirement
    1 East-West Godavari Teachers’
    Ramu Surya Rao (R.S.R. Master)
     
    29.03.2021
    2                    
    Krishna-Guntur Teachers’
    A. S. Ramakrishna
    Telangana 
    1  
    Mahabubnagar-Ranga Reddy-Hyderabad Graduates’
    Ramachandra Rao N
     
    29.03.2021
    2
    Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda
    Graduates’
    Dr. Palla Rajeshwar Reddy
    2.      The Commission has now decided that above mentioned biennial election to the Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Council from Teachers’ Constituencies and Telangana State Legislative Council from Graduates’ Constituencies, be held in accordance with the following programme: -
    Issue of Notification
    16th February, 2021 (Tuesday)
    Last date of making nominations
    23rd February, 2021 (Tuesday)
    Scrutiny of nominations
    24th February, 2021 (Wednesday)
    Last date for withdrawal of candidature
    26th February, 2021 (Friday)
    Date of Poll
    14thMarch, 2021 (Sunday)
    Hours of Poll
    08:00 am to 04:00 pm
    Counting of votes
    17th March, 2021 (Wednesday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    22ndMarch, 2021 (Monday)
    3.         The Model Code of Conduct concerning these elections will come into force with immediate effect in the concerned Constituencies. Please see the details on Commission’s website under the link: 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/
    4.         Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election processes 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: (a) Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out: (b) 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. As far as practicable, large halls shall be identified and utilized to ensure social distancing norms. Adequate number of vehicles shall be mobilized for movement of polling personnel, security personnel to ensure compliance of COVID-19 guidelines. 5.         For broad guidelines to be followed strictly in conduct of election during COVID-19, please refer to the guidelines available on Commission’s website under link:- https://eci.gov.in/files/file/12167-broad-guidelines-for-conduct-of-general-electionbye-election-during-covid-19/.
     

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  15. Bye Election to the Council of States from Assam -reg.

    No. ECI/PN/08/2021
    Dated: 04th February, 2021
                                                                                                                                                           
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:   Bye Election to the Council of States from Assam -reg.
    There is one casual vacancy in the Council of States from Assam as per following details: -
    State
    Name of Members
    Reason
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    Assam
    Shri Biswajit Daimary
    Resignation
    21.11.2020
    09.04.2026
    2.  The Commission has decided to hold bye-election to the Council of States from Assam to fill up the above said vacancy in accordance with the following schedule: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates

    1 Issue of Notifications
      11th February, 2021 (Thursday)

    2 Last date of making nominations
    18th February, 2021 (Thursday)

    3 Scrutiny of nominations
    19th February, 2021 (Friday)

    4 Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    22nd February, 2021 (Monday)

    5 Date of Poll
    01st March, 2021 (Monday)

    6 Hours of Poll
    09:00 am-04:00 pm

    7 Counting of Votes
    01st March, 2021  (Monday) at 05:00 pm

    8 Date before which election shall be completed
    03rd March, 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, Assam 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.
    5. Further, the Commission has also appointed the Chief Electoral Officer, Assam as Observer for this election. 

    176 downloads

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  16. General election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry, 2021 -Errata - reg

    No. ECI/PN/ 18/2021
    Dated: 27th February, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry, 2021- Errata – reg.
    In continuation to Election Commission of India's Press Note No. ECI/PN/16/2021 dated 26th February, 2021, on the subject cited above, it is stated that there was a typographical error in Para 30(2) and 30(3) at page no. 36 of Press Note, which has been corrected and may be read as under
    2. Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) for Service Voter: Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) will transmit blank Postal Ballot through Electronic means to the Service Voters. Service voter can then send his vote through speed post.
    3. cVIGIL Application for filing Model Code of Conduct Violation cases by citizen: cVIGIL provides time-stamped evidentiary proof of the Model Code of Conduct/ Expenditure Violation by empowering every citizen to click a photo or video using his or her smartphone. This app prioritizes the speedy and effective actions by authorities and promised users status reports within 100 minutes. The Application is available on both the Google Play Store and App Store. URL for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.nic.eci.cvigil&hl=en_IN and IOS (App Store): https://apps.apple.com/in/app/cvigil/id1455719541

    2,806 downloads

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  17. PRESS NOTE

    No. ECI/PN/27/2021                                                    
    Dated: 14th March 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
     
    The Election Commission of India met today to discuss reports submitted by Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal and the joint report submitted by Special General Observer Sh Ajay Nayak  & Special Police Observer Sh Vivek Dube on the Incident at Nandigram leading to injury to Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee on 10th March 2021. 
    After perusing the documents of CS's report and that of Special Observers based on annexures of reports of DM, SP, Purba Medinipur and Returning Officer of 210 Nandigram Assembly Constituency, and other inputs of the facts and circumstances of the incident, the Commission decided the following: 
    1. Shri Vivek Sahay IPS, Director Security  shall be removed from the post of the Director Security and be placed under suspension immediately. The charges must be framed against him within a week for grossly failing in discharge of his primary duty as Director Security to protect the Z+ protectee.
    2. Chief Secretary, in consultation with DGP, is authorised to post suitable Director Security immediately following the extant procedure. Posting order may be communicated to the Commission latest by 1300 hours on 15th March 2021.
    3. A Committee of Chief Secretary and DGP shall identify within next three days the other proximate security personnel below Director Security,who failed in their duties to prevent the incident and protect the Z+ protecteeVVIP and take suitable action for their failure under intimation to the Commission by 1700 hours on 17th March 2021.
    4. Ms. Smita Pandey IAS: 2005 be posted immediately as DM and DEO, Purba Medinipur in place of Mr Vibhu Goel IAS who shall be transferred to a non-election post.
    5. Mr Pravin Prakash, IPS, SP Purba Medinipur shall also be placed under suspension immediately and charges shall be framed against him for major failure of bandobast. 
    6. Mr Sunil Kumar Yadav, IPS:2009 be posted immediately as SP PurbaMedinipur  in place of Mr Pravin Prakash, IPS.
    7. Chief Secretary shall ensure that  the investigation of Nandigram PS Case number 97/21 dated 11-03-2021 is completed and consequential action is  taken as per law in next 15 days. Report in this regard shall be sent to the Commission by 31st march 2021.
    Commission further directed that since the security of star campaigners further becomes far more sensitive during the election period  because of additional  criticality due to possible proximity with large crowds and sensational impact of any such incidence on law and order across state, established SoPs, including advance detailed programme, necessary permissions to hold rallies or road shows,  deployment, use of  bullet proof vehicle, if required as  per security category of protectee, deployment on pre decided route(s), observance of  provisions of The Motor Vehicle Act , etc should be followed scrupulously.  Any deviation from approved programme should only  be permitted after necessary approval(s). 
    With respect to the above, Commission also decided to issue Instructions separately to the CEOs of all poll bound states/UTs to bring it to the notice of all Political Parties/ candidates, for strict compliance of the security of the star campaigners as per the category of protection and local threat assessment in accordance with extant rules /guidelines / SoPs. 
     In addition, Election Commission of India has also appointed Former DGP Intelligence Punjab, Sh. Anil Kumar Sharma  (Retd. IPS 1984 Punjab Cadre) as Special Police Observer for the General Elections to Legislative Assembly of West Bengal. As Special Police Observer, Sh. A K Sharma would be the second Special Police Observer, in addition to Sh Vivek Dube, to observe the conduct of elections in West Bengal.

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  18. ECI holds meeting with Special Observers appointed for smooth conduct of General Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal -2021

    No. ECI/PN/22/2021                                            
    Dated: 4th March 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI holds meeting with Special Observers appointed for smooth conduct of General Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal -2021
    Election Commission of India today organized a briefing meeting with Special Observers associated for the forthcoming General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West  Bengal 2021.  The meeting was held today  in Nirvachan Sadan in the newly refurbished Sukumar Sen Hall dedicated to the memory of First Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sukumar Sen. 
    Welcoming the newly appointed Special Observers, Chief Election Commissioner Sh. Sunil Arora appreciated the Special Observers for playing very important role in the past elections and helping ECI fulfil the Constitutional mandate of conducting free, fair, transparent, impartial an inducement-free Elections. Sh. Arora emphasised on greater coordination amidst all Enforcement Agencies functioning on the ground. He further added that the Special Observers will have additional role in supervising deployment of forces and their randomisation for poll duties.
    Election Commissioner Sh. Sushil Chandra drew their attention to Commission's recent order with respect to webcasting of all vulnerable booths and emphasised on making our elections totally inducement-free. EC Sh. Rajiv Kumar said that the Commission is very happy to have associated with all upright and efficient senior officers in order to conduct elections in a free, fair, transparent and safe manner. 
    The Special Observers, who worked during the previous elections, apprised the Commission of issues and challenges, based on their past experiences. 
    The following Officers have been appointed as Special General, Police and Expenditure Observers in the poll going States of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal and UT of Puducherry. Sh. Sudarsanam Srinivasan, IAS (Retd.)(OR:80); Sh. Ashok Kumar, IPS (Retd.) TN:82 and Ms. Neena Nigam, IRS (Retd.) (IRS:83) will be the Observers for the State of Assam. Sh Ajay Nayak, IAS (Retd.) (BH:84), Sh. Vivek Dubey, IPS (Retd.) (AP:81) , Sh. B. Murali Kumar, IRS(Retd.) (IRS:1983) will be the Observers for West Bengal. Sh. Deepak Mishra, IPS(Retd.) (AGMUT:84) , Sh. Pushpinder Singh Puniha, IRS (Retd.) (IRS:1985) have been appointed as Observers for Kerala. Alok Chaturvedi, IAS (Retd.)(BH:86), for the State of Tamil Nadu and Sh. Manjeet Singh, IAS (Retd) (RJ:88) for UT of Puducherry whereas Dharmendra Kumar, IPS(Retd.) (AGMUT:84), Ms. Madhu Mahajan, IRS(Retd.) (IRS:1982) and Shri B R Balakrishnan, IRS(Retd.) (IRS:1983) will be the Observers for  both Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. All the Special Observers appointed hold an impeccable and brilliant track record of work in their career. 
    The Special Observers will be visiting their assigned States/UTs and superintend and monitor poll preparedness being done by State and district level officials. They will also have series of meetings with the General, Police and Expenditure Observers deployed in the field.  
     

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  19. ECI Statement

    No. ECI/PN/24/2021
    Dated: 5th March 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI Statement
    A section of media has cited today i.e. on 5.3.2021  TMC MP’s letter to CEO West Bengal demanding removal of Deputy Election Commissioner incharge of West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021 at ECI.  The following is brought to your kind notice:-
     The complaint in question was apparently given to CEO, West Bengal, who has sent a copy to ECI headquarters.  The Commission would like to categorically state that all our Deputy Election Commissioners and other officials posted in the ECI headquarters and/or working in the field are discharging their duties strictly as per Constitution of India and the various extant rules regarding the conduct of elections.  There could be an odd exception here or there in which case EC takes corrective action immediately.  In the immediate case, the Commission has full faith in the integrity and fairness of Shri Sudeep Jain, DEC. Unfortunately, it is not for the first time that a concerted campaign is mounted against senior officers of the Commission on the eve of/during the process of elections.
       In aforementioned news items mention has been made of allegations cited by TMC about two decisions taken by Shri Jain during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when also he was Deputy Election Commissioner incharge at ECI of West Bengal Elections. It is clarified that both these decisions were taken by the Commission in the interest of holding free fair and peaceful elections and implemented by the district election machinery under supervision of DEC, Chief Electoral Officer, Police Nodal Officer and other concerned senior officials.  Since, this issue is being raised by other sections of media by queries on WhatsApp/SMS messages etc., a copy of the statement is being put on the website of ECI (eci.gov.in) 

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  20. DELIMITATION COMMISSION HOLDS MEETING TO SEEK VIEWS ON DELIMITATION PROCESS OF UT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR.

    No. DC/PN/1/2021                                         
    Date : 18th February 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    DELIMITATION COMMISSION HOLDS MEETING TO SEEK VIEWS ON DELIMITATION PROCESS OF UT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR.
    Delimitation Commission comprising of Chairperson Retd. Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, Ex-Officio Member Shri Sushil Chandra (Election Commissioner) and Ex-Officio Member, Shri K.K Sharma (State Election Commissioner, J&K) today held a meeting in New Delhi with the Associate Members from Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, for seeking their suggestion/views on the process of delimitation in respect of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 
    Chairperson Justice Desai welcomed Associate Members namely Dr. Jitendra Singh MoS & MP and  Shri Jugal Kishore Sharma, MP to the meeting. While Delimitation Commission had sent written intimation to all five Associated Members namely Dr Farooq Abdullah, Shri Mohammad Akbar Lone, Shri Hasnain Masoodi Shri Jugal Kishore Sharma and Dr. Jitendra Singh on 5th February 2021 itself, only two Members attended today's meeting.
    An overview on the process of delimitation based on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 and Delimitation Act, 2002 was presented before the Members detailing various Sections of these Acts related to the delimitation exercise of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 
    The two Associate Members appreciated Commission’s efforts and suggested that delimitation of Constituencies shall be as far as practicable, be for geographically compact areas and while delimiting them regard shall be given to physical features; existing boundaries of administrative units; facilities of communication and public convenience. They also suggested to give special attention to the difficult terrains while carrying out the delimitation exercise in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
    Election Commissioner, Shri Sushil Chandra, welcomed their valuable inputs and expressed satisfaction of the Delimitation Commission on the suggestions and views of the Associate Members. The Members desired to put forward more suggestions in coming days. 

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  21. Polling for Phase 1 Assam and West Bengal Assembly Constituencies conducted peacefully & successfully

    No. ECI/PN/38/2021                                                    
    Dated: 27th March, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Polling for Phase 1 Assam and West Bengal Assembly Constituencies conducted peacefully & successfully
    The first phase of Assam and West Bengal Assembly Elections was conducted successfully across 21825 Polling Stations spread over 77 Assembly Constituencies today. The Commission has laid great emphasis on ensuring transparent and vigilant mechanism for inducement and intimidation free elections. 
    The first phase of elections were conducted for 30 Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal. Nearly 74 lakh electorates  across 10,288 Polling Stations are registered to exercise their franchise in this phase. Voting was held in 47 Assembly Constituencies of Assam with a total of 81lakh electorates registered across 11,537 Polling Stations. The number of Polling Stations has increased in view of the fact that the number of voters per polling station has been reduced from 1500 to 1000 keeping social distancing norms in view. 
    As a major push in conducting free and fair elections, live monitoring and webcasting mechanism for more than 50% of Polling Stations including critical and vulnerable polling booths was put in place to ensure safe and secure atmosphere in polling areas. Commission, CEOs, DEOs, Observers could watch live streaming and keep a close watch on these polling booths in Assam and West Bengal. Webcasting arrangements were put in place for 5392 Polling Stations in West Bengal and 5039 Polling Stations in Assam. 
    As an initiative towards inclusive and accessible elections, the option of postal ballot facility has been extended to PwDs, Senior Citizens above the age of 80 years, COVID-19 suspect or affected persons and persons employed in essential services. The Observers were specifically asked to oversee arrangements for facilitation of these voters. 
    For handholding and for guidance of the poll going states the Commission also directed Special Observers to have additional role in supervising deployment of forces and their randomization for poll duties.
    All the Polling Stations were directed to follow COVID-19 Safety protocols. Accordingly it was ensured that the Polling Stations were sanitized one day prior to poll and facility of thermal scanning, hand sanitisers,  face masks were also made available at the Polling Stations. Proper arrangements for social distancing were put in place. Nodal Health Officers have been  designated for State, district and Assembly Constituencies to oversee COVID-19 related arrangements and preventive measures during the entire electoral process. 
    All the 21825 Polling Stations of phase-1 in Assam and West Bengal, have been equipped with Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) of drinking water, waiting shed, toilet with water facility, adequate arrangements for lighting, ramp of appropriate gradient for wheelchair for PwD electors and a standard voting compartment etc were made available at all the Polling Stations. All arrangements like transport facility, volunteers assisting Persons with Disability and senior citizens have also been put in place.
    During this phase, a total of 10288 Ballot Units (BUs), 10288 Control Units(CUs) and 10288 VVPATs were used in West Bengal and 11,537 Ballot Units (BUs), 11,537 Control Units (CUs) and 11,537 VVPATs were used in Assam. As per standard procedure all these EVMs and VVPATs had already undergone First Level Checking, Randomisation, and Commissioning in the presence of Political Parties/Candidates agents. During FLC and during commissioning each of these EVMs and VVPATs had undergone mock polls. Today before the start of the poll each of the EVMs and VVPATs again underwent a mock poll in the presence of polling agents of the candidates with minimum 50 votes cast on each, as per standard procedure. At the end of the mock poll the result of EVM were matched with the result of VVPAT slips and shown to the polling agents.   Nonfunctioning rate during the poll is lesser than experienced in last few polls. 
    Since the date of notification of Election till first phase, record seizure of Rs. 281.28 Crore has already been achieved for both the states. The seizure figure, which includes seizure of cash, liquor, narcotics, freebies etc, is more than four times higher than the total combined seizure of Rs. 60.91 Crore in GE LA 2016. The Commission has been laying specific emphasis on inducement free elections and curbing the malaise of undue money power, liquor, freebies. Till date Rs. 97.31crore has been seized in Assam (as against a total seizure of Rs. 16.58crore in LA 2016) and a total of 183.97crores for West Bengal (as against a total seizure of Rs 44.33crore in  LA 2016). Total 53 & 85 Expenditure Observers have been deployed in Assam & West Bengal Assembly Elections, 2021 respectively for effective monitoring. In Assam, 603 Flying Squads (FS) and 762 Static Surveillance Teams (SST) were operationalised to check movement of cash, liquor, drugs & freebies. The figures of FS & SST deployed in West Bengal are 1137 & 1012 respectively. In Assam, 06 Air Intelligence Units (AIU) of IT Department are set up at Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Silchar, Tezpur & Lakhimpur. In West Bengal, 03 Air Intelligence Units (AIU) of IT Department are set up at Kolkata, Andal in Durgapur & Bagdogra.
    Election Commission of India’s Cvigil App is a citizen centric mobile application which empowers people to report cases of MCC violations in real time basis, with auto populated details of location etc and responded within 100 minutes after verification at field level. Today a total number of 167 cases of Model Code of Conduct violations were reported through the cVIGIL app from West Bengal out of which 111 were disposed as of 4.30 pm. Similarly 582 cases were reported from Assam with 423 disposed till 4.30 pm.
    Election Commission of India expresses gratitude to all stakeholders specially the voters for their enthusiastic and fearless participation in the election process today. Commission particularly thanks PwD electors, senior citizens, service voters for taking part in elections honoring COVID protocol norms. The voter turnout reported by 5pm from the 30 AC of phase 1 in West Bengal is 79.79%. The poll Percentage reported from the 47 ACs of phase 1 in Assam is 72.14% as of 5pm. 
    ECI also recognizes the services of the entire electoral machinery including polling staff on duty, security personnel, supervisory staff, Observers, Special Observers railway authorities, enforcement agencies as also the Health authorities for making comprehensive arrangements and dedicatedly working towards successful conduct of free, fair, transparent and safe elections despite pandemic. The Commission solicits active cooperation, close collaboration and constructive partnership from all stakeholders including media for delivering smooth and peaceful elections.

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  22. COVID-19 vaccination drive begins at ECI headquarters

    No. ECI/PN/23/2021 
    Dated: 4th March 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    COVID-19 vaccination drive begins at ECI headquarters
    Election Commission of India today started COVID-19 vaccination drive for its officers and staff working at Nirvachan Sadan, Delhi. Former Chief Election Commissioner Shri. M.S. Gill, took the first shot of vaccine, to mark the beginning of the vaccination drive. Chief Election Commissioner of India Shri Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Shri Sushil Chandra and Shri Rajiv Kumar will get vaccinated after all the officials and staff at Election Commission have benefitted from the vaccination programme. 
    The Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora recently announced that all staff on poll duty for the upcoming assembly elections have been declared as ‘frontline workers’ and therefore will be vaccinated before assuming their election duties. He added that, the vaccination would encourage the poll duty officers to perform their duty without any COVID fear. Mr. Arora further said that the nationwide vaccination drive has made the situation more conducive for conducting elections. Special camp has also been setup at ECI with provision of doctors, ambulance etc.
    Under the special vaccination drive, lakhs of polling officials across five states and UT will take the vaccination shots before proceeding on election duty for the upcoming assembly elections.

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  23. PRESS RELEASE

    No. ECI/PN/15/2021                                          
    Dated: 22nd February 2021
     
     
    PRESS NOTE
      Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman & Managing Director, VPS Healthcare, based in UAE met CEC Shri Sunil Arora today, i.e., 22nd February, 2021 to press for an early resolution of extending the facility of Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) to the Indian diaspora settled abroad. He was informed that the matter is under active and empathic consideration of ECI and that officers of EC are in touch with their counterparts in Ministry of Law & Justice and Ministry of External Affairs in order to find an early resolution to the issue.
     

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  24. Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/12/2021
    Dated: 18th February, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub:- Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.
      There is one casual vacancy in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly. The details of the vacancy are as follows:
     
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    Challa Ramakrishna Reddy
    By MLAs
    Death
    on 01.01.2021
    29.03.2023
     
    2.            The Commission has decided to hold a bye-election to the Andhra Pradesh 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
    25th February, 2021 (Thursday)
    2.        
    Last Date of making nominations
    04th March, 2021 (Thursday)
    3.        
    Scrutiny of nominations
    05th March, 2021  (Friday)
    4.        
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    08th March, 2021  (Monday)
    5.        
    Date of Poll
    15th March, 2021  (Monday)
    6.        
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.        
    Counting of Votes
    15th March, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.        
    Date before which election shall be completed
    18th March, 2021 (Thursday)
                                                                                                   
    3.            Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    I.             Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity
    II.            At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes:
    (a) Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out
    (b) Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations
    III.          Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs.
    4.            The Chief Secretary, 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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  25. ECI organizes briefing meeting of General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the Assembly Elections in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

    No. ECI/PN/21/2021 
    Dated: 3rd March 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI organizes briefing meeting of General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the Assembly Elections in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
    Election Commission of India today organized a briefing meeting for Observers to be deployed for the forthcoming General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West  Bengal 2021 for which schedule was  announced on  26th February, 2021.  More than 1650 Observers today participated  in the briefing meeting physically and virtually from more than 120 remote locations also.  Officers from IAS, IPS, IRS and other Central Services  have been included to be deployed as General, Police and Expenditure Observers.  
    Addressing the Observers, Chief Election Commissioner Shri Arora said that Observers are one of the most important torchbearers of Indian democracy.  Shri Sunil Arora recalled that during his tenure in ECI, since September 2017, he has been associated with 14 Elections of state Assemblies and also the 2019 Lok Sabha General Elections wherein Observers played an important role in the conduct of elections. Taking note of the exemplary  work  accomplished by the CEO and DEOs  of Bihar despite wide spread Covid concerns, Shri Arora said Bihar Assembly elections have literally become a turning point in the history of Indian elections. Even the participation of voters was better than the previous Assembly and Parliamentary elections in Bihar.  Shri Arora said successful conduct of elections is always a combined feat of field officers and ECI where the Observers and Special Observers also play a vital role. He added that, during these elections, Special Observers will have additional role in randomization of forces and its deployment.  CEC said the resilience of Indian democracy lies in the fact that the so-said “Common Man” plays a decisive  role in Government formation. The motto of ECI is to ensure empowered, vigilant, well informed and safe voter.  He reminded the Observers that they should be visible and accessible  to citizens and enable them to vote fearlessly. He warned the observers that ECI will act swiftly and ruthlessly incase anyone is found to be lax in performing their duties. ECI shall not tolerate any willful lapses, he reiterated. Shri Arora asked the Observers to visit the Polling Booths to check due facilitation to senior citizens, Persons with Disabilities and women voters to ensure Commission's commitment to principle of Inclusive Elections.
    Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra said that in the forthcoming elections,  more than 18 crore  voters would be exercising  their right of franchise.  Accounting for social distancing norms,  more than 80,000 polling stations have been added.  He said Observers need to ensure proper direction to Field-level officers so that ECI’s constitutional mandate is scrupulously fulfilled. He called upon Observers for their active interventions and presence which could enable in building confidence among the voters especially in vulnerable areas and make all efforts  to curb money power or vices of liquor and freebies with complete involvement of all enforcement agencies.  Mr Chandra emphasized that Observers should play an important role in making these elections totally inducement free. 
    Addressing the officers, Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar reminded the Observers  that their own conduct would be under scrutiny by the people, media and political entities.  The  Observers need to ensure exceptional conduct so that legitimacy and sanctity of the Election is kept  intact at any cost.  He said accessibility and visibility of Observers, quality and timeliness of response has to be ensured to establish credibility.  Shri Kumar said the evidentiary value of Observers' reports  many a time become the key factor for ECI to base their judgment.    Shri Kumar reiterated that Observers need to be conversant with all legal provisions, instructions and latest circulars of ECI for effective implementation on the ground.
    The half-day long briefing sessions held today had comprehensive briefing by the Secretary General ECI Shri Umesh Sinha on Election Planning, Security Management & SVEEP aspects. Shri Sinha, who is also incharge of elections in State of Tamil Nadu and UT of Puducherry at ECI, briefed the officers on specific state issues of TN and the UT. Briefing sessions were also held by Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Dharmendra Sharma on Training of Personnel and inputs on Assam (being State incharge of Assam elections at ECI); on Electoral Roll issues and IT applications and EVM VVPAT Management System by Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Sudeep Jain. Shri Jain also covered specific issues of Kerala and West Bengal elections.  On legal issues, MCC and expenditure monitoring, Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Chandra Bhushan Kumar and Director Expenditure Shri Pankaj Shrivastava gave an  overview. Smt Sheyphali Sharan, Spokesperson ECI, briefed the Officers on aspects of Media Certification and Monitoring Committees, Paid News as also Social  Media.
    For these ensuing elections, ECI has extended the option of Postal Ballot facility to the electors who are marked as Persons with Disabilities (PwD), electors above the age of 80 years, electors employed in notified Essential services and electors who are COVID- 19 positive/suspect as certified by competent authority and are in quarantine (home/institutional). Commission’s broad Guidelines for COVID-safe election to be adhered to during the entire election processes for all persons, include increased number of auxiliary Polling stations, Thermal Scanning of all persons, Sanitizer and mask use; larger halls with adequate spacing of counting tables; Adequate number of vehicles mobilized for movement of polling personnel, security personnel to ensure compliance of COVID-19 guidelines as also vaccination for all personnel involved in electoral process.

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