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  1. Biennial election to the Bihar Legislative Council from 04 Graduates’ and 04 Teachers’ Constituencies.

    No. ECI/PN/65/2020 Dated:     
    25th September, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:   Biennial election to the Bihar Legislative Council from 04 Graduates’ and 04 Teachers’ Constituencies. The term of office of 08 members of the Bihar Legislative Council from Graduates’ and Teachers’ Constituencies has fallen vacant on 06th May, 2020, due to the retirement of the sitting members. A statement showing the details of these seats is given below:-
    Bihar
    Sl. No.
    Name of  Constituency
    Name of the Member
    Date of retirement
      Patna Graduates’
    Neeraj Kumar
     
     
     
     
    06.05.2020
    2.       
    Darbhanga Graduates’
    Dilip Kumar Choudhary
    3.       
    Tirhut Graduates’
    Devesh Chandra Thakur
    4.       
    Kosi Graduates’
    Dr. N.K. Yadav
    5.       
    Patna Teachers’
    Naval Kishore Yadav
    6.       
    Darbhanga Teachers’
    Dr. Madan Mohan Jha
    7.       
    Tirhut Teachers’
    Sanjay Kumar Singh
    8.       
    Saran Teachers’
    Kedar Nath Panday
     
    2.      Considering the unforeseen situation of public health emergency due to COVID-19 and the guidelines & orders passed under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 by the competent authority, the Election Commission, on 03.04.2020 passed an Order under Article 324 of Constitution of India read with section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and directed that the process of election to the abovementioned seats be initiated at a later date after reviewing the prevailing situation.
    3.         The Commission, having considered the inputs received from CEO, Bihar has now decided that above mentioned biennial election to the Bihar State Legislative Council from Graduates’ and Teachers’ Constituencies, be held in accordance with the following programme:-
     
    1.       
    Issue of Notification
    28th   September, 2020 (Monday)
    2.       
    Last date of making nominations
    05th October, 2020 (Monday)
    3.       
    Scrutiny of nominations
    06th October, 2020 (Tuesday)
    4.       
    Last date for withdrawal of candidature
    08th October, 2020 (Thursday)
    5.       
    Date of Poll
    22nd October, 2020 (Thursday)
    6.       
    Hours of Poll
    08:00 am to 05:00 pm
    7.       
    Counting of votes
    12th November, 2020 ( Thursday )
    8.       
    Date before which election shall be completed
    14th November, 2020 ( Saturday )
     
    4.         The Model Code of Conduct concerning these elections will come into force with immediate effect in the concerned Constituencies. Please see the details in 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/
    5.         Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election processes 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.
             IV.        As far as practicable, large halls should be identified and utilized to ensure social distancing norms.
             V.         Adequate number of vehicles shall be mobilized for movement of polling personnel, security personnel to ensure compliance of COVID-19 guidelines.
    6.         For broad guidelines to be followed strictly during the conduct of election during Covid-19, please refer to the guideline 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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  2. Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Bihar-2020

    Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Bihar-2020
    Poll Events
    Phase-I (71 ACs)
    Phase-II (94 ACs)
    Phase-III (78 ACs)
    Date of Issue of Notification
    01.10.2020
    (Thursday)
    09.10.2020
    (Friday)
    13.10.2020
    (Tuesday)
    Last date of making nomination
    08.10.2020
    (Thursday)
    16.10.2020
    (Friday)
    20.10.2020
    (Tuesday)
     
    Date of Scrutiny
    09.10.2020
    (Friday)
    17.10.2020
    (Saturday)
    21.10.2020
    (Wednesday)
    Last date of withdrawal
    12.10.2020
    (Monday)
    19.10.2020
    (Monday)
    23.10.2020
    (Friday)
     
    Date of Poll
    28.10.2020
    (Wednesday)
    03.11.2020
    (Tuesday)
    07.11.2020
    (Saturday)
     
    Date of Counting
    10.11.2020
    (Tuesday)
    10.11.2020
    (Tuesday)
    10.11.2020
    (Tuesday)
    Date of completion
    12.11.2020
    (Thursday)
    12.11.2020
    (Thursday)
    12.11.2020
    (Thursday)

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  3. No Directions from ECI to CBDT wrt IT notice to Sharad Pawar

    No. ECI/PN/63/2020
    23rd September 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    No Directions from ECI to CBDT wrt IT notice to Sharad Pawar
    In some sections of Media it has been reported that Income Tax notice has been issued to Shri Sharad Pawar, Member of Parliament on the directions of Election Commission of India. 
    In this context, it is stated that Election Commission of India has not issued any such direction to CBDT to issue notice to Shri Pawar.

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  4. Factually Incorrect reporting by a section of the media

    No. ECI/PN/62/2020
    Dated: 22nd September, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    Factually Incorrect reporting by a section of the media
     
    It has come to the notice of Election Commission of India that a section of the media has wrongly interpreted the statement made by CEC Sh Sunil Arora in his inaugural address at the International Webinar held in New Delhi on 21st September 2020.
    Please note that the ECI press release issued at  1630hrs on 21.9.2020, specifically read "CEC mentioned that the Commission would take a decision within the next two to three days, on visiting Bihar."
    All media organisations who have based their stories quoting copy of ANI are requested to take note of official press release of ECI and correct the news items to read only about the ECI's visit to be scheduled to State of Bihar in near future.
    Please note that Commission's schedule of visit to State of Bihar has no correlation with announcement of dates of Bihar Elections, as stated/ alluded by the ANI copy. 
     
        (Pawan Diwan)
    Under Secretary

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  5. Conducting elections amid a pandemic - Democracies share valuable insights at ECI webinar

    No. ECI/PN/61/2020
    Dated: 21st September, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    Conducting elections amid a pandemic - Democracies share valuable insights at ECI webinar
    CEC underscores commitment of EMBs to the conduct of timely, free, fair and participatory elections
     
    Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora, today underscored the commitment of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) across the world, for the conduct of timely, free, fair and participatory elections to foster democracy in the world. He recalled former US President Abraham Lincoln's allusion to democracies as governments “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” 
    CEC also recalled a quote by Nelson Mandela: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
    Speaking at the conclusion of the International Webinar on "Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting Elections during COVID-19: Sharing Country Experiences", Shri Arora highlighted the common threads that emerged from the event. 
    CEC emphasized that today’s webinar brings out clearly the importance of training the officials involved with the conduct of elections. 
    During his intervention, Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra emphasized that in the shadow of COVID-19, elections have not only to be free and fair, but also ensure safety for the electors as well as polling officials and security personnel on duty. He said that presentations from various countries show comprehensive preparedness required before, during and after elections. The ultimate concern is to ensure that voters feel safe while voting in covid times. He also emphasized effective communication with voters regarding safety protocols adopted by the Commission. 
    In his remarks, Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar noted that even amid the pandemic, electors have high expectations for the smooth conduct of elections. Mutual sharing of ideas and experiences of conducting elections amidst challenges of COVID19 at this webinar, will go a long way in introducing safety provisions and services with all protocols in place and will strengthen the democracies despite challenges posed. He further appealed to participating election bodies to reiterate the resolve to protect political rights of citizens and thereby democratic processes and institutions. 
    Among the countries that made presentations were Fiji, Republic of Korea, Mongolia,  Taiwan, South Africa, Bangladesh and Malawi. The international organizations participating were International IDEA, A-WEB and IFES.
    The webinar provided an excellent opportunity for all the participants to exchange ideas and learn from each others’ experience of holding and managing elections in the challenging times of COVID 19 pandemic, to ensure free, fair, transparent as well as safe elections.   
    More details about the webinar are available at http://indiaawebcentre.org
     
     
     
        (Pawan Diwan)
    Under Secretary
     

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  6. Democracies world over come together to share experiences of conducting elections during Covid 19

    No. ECI/PN/60/2020
    Dated: 21st September, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    Democracies world over come together to share experiences of conducting elections during Covid 19
    ECI hosts International Webinar on ‘Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting Elections during COVID-19: Sharing Country Experiences’ 
    Two Publications released on the occasion; India A-WEB Centre to bring out an ‘A-WEB India Journal of Elections’.
    CEC highlights scale of elections to be conducted in Bihar amid the Covid19 pandemic; Commission to take a decision soon on visiting the State.
    On completion of one year of Chairmanship of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB), Election Commission of India today hosted an International Webinar on the Theme ‘‘Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting  Elections during COVID-19 : Sharing Country Experiences’. It was an occasion for democracies world over to come together to share experiences of conducting elections during Covid19. 
    It may be recalled that last year on 03 Sep 2019 India had taken  over as Chair of A-WEB for 2019-2021 term during the 4th  General Assembly of A-WEB held at Bengaluru. Inaugurating the Webinar, Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of India and Chairperson, A-WEB Shri Sunil Arora spoke of the "tough predicament" faced by Election Management Bodies across the world - whether and how to hold scheduled elections in a state of public health emergency. 
    He said the contextual framework of every country was different, the extent and trajectory of the disease varied and so did the capacity of each country to respond to the novel corona virus and its catastrophic impact. He mentioned countries such as South Korea, Australia, Malawi, Taiwan, Mongolia and many others who went ahead with scheduled elections even as they put in place the enormous arrangements required to ensure the health and safety of people while conducting election. 
    Shri Sunil Arora mentioned that Elections in India pose formidable challenges on account of large electorate, geographical and linguistic diversity and differing climatic conditions. Explaining in detail the scale of the upcoming elections to the Legislative Assembly of Bihar, he mentioned that the total number of electors is 72.9 million. 

    Explaining the impact of Covid-19 on the election, Shri Arora highlighted how Covid19 exigencies and social distancing measures necessitated a revisit of ECI's extant instructions. The maximum number of electors at a polling station was reduced from 1500 to 1000, and consequently, the number of polling stations jumped by 40 per cent, from 65,000 to 100,000. These changes have huge logistics and manpower implications. CEC mentioned that the Commission would take a decision within the next two to three days, on visiting Bihar. 
    Chief Election Commissioner also mentioned that ECI has placed a lot of emphasis on extending facilitation to senior citizens, women, Persons with disabilities and in current circumstances, ensuring franchise to Covid positive voters and those in quarantine. In this context, the CEC mentioned how, beginning with the elections to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand in November-December 2019, and elections to the Legislative Assembly of Delhi in February 2020, the postal ballot facility was extended to voters who are aged more than 80 years, persons with disability and those who engaged in specified essential services. This facility of postal ballot has been extended to Covid positive electors who are in quarantine/hospitalized. 
    Shri Sunil Arora mentioned the specific and detailed guidelines that have been drawn up on conducting election during the time of Covid. He also mentioned the successful conduct of elections to 18 seats of the Rajya Sabha in the month of June, 2020. He noted that elections are due in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Naduin the first half of the year 2021. 
     CEC recalled the AWEB General Assembly, held in Bengaluru in September 2019. He  noted that the Webinar today is being held under the aegis of India A-WEB Centre on the occasion of completion of one year of ECI’s term as Chair of A-WEB.
    Mentioning the two publications being released today viz. ‘Brief Profiles of the Countries, member EMBs and Partner Organisations of A-WEB’ and  ‘COVID 19 and International Election Experience’, he said these would be a useful tool for researchers and practitioners alike. He said that A-WEB India Centre has also progressed considerably towards publishing a world class journal called “AWEB Journal of Elections’. The first issue of this journal will be released in March 2021. 

    Over 120 delegates from 45 countries across the world (viz.   Angola, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of  Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyz Republic,  Liberia, Malawi, Maldives, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Palestine, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tonga, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Zambia) and 4 international organizations (viz. International IDEA,  International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) and European Centre for Elections)  participated in the Webinar today.

    The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.   At present A-WEB has 115  EMBs as Members & 16 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members.  ECI has been very closely associated with the process of formation of  A-WEB since 2011-12.

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  7. ECI going to host International Webinar on ‘Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting Elections during COVID-19 : Sharing Country Experiences’ on 21st September 2020

    No. ECI/PN/59/2020 Dated:
    20st September, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
     
    ECI going to host  International Webinar on 
    ‘Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting
    Elections during COVID-19 : Sharing Country Experiences’ 
    on 21st September 2020
    The Election Commission of India is going to organize  an International Webinar on 21st September 2020, on the Theme ‘‘Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting  Elections during COVID-19 : Sharing Country Experiences’ on its completion of one year of Chairmanship of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).
     2. The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.   At present A-WEB has 115  EMBs as Members & 16 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members.  ECI has been very closely associated with the process of formation of  A-WEB since 2011-12.     ECI hosted   the 4th  General Assembly of A-WEB on 03 Sep 2019 at Bengaluru and took  over as Chair of A-WEB for 2019-2021 term.  
    3. In accordance with the decision taken at the Extraordinary meeting of the A-WEB Executive Board held at Bengaluru on 02 Sep 2019,  an India A-WEB Centre  has been established at New Delhi,  for world class documentation, research and training for sharing the best practices and capacity building of officials of A-WEB members.     ECI has provided all the resources for this Centre.  A number of initiatives, led by  Shri Sunil Arora, Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of India and Chairperson, A-WEB are being taken under the aegis of India A-WEB Centre.
    4. This is the first Webinar being held by the India A-WEB Centre.   Over 120 delegates from 45 countries across the world (viz.   Angola, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of  Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyz Republic,  Liberia, Malawi, Maldives, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Palestine, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tonga, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Zambia) and 4 international organizations (viz. International IDEA,  International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) and European Centre for Elections)   are going to participate in the Webinar.   
    5. The India A-WEB Centre   has, in a very short period of its existence,  come out with two very useful publications viz. ‘Brief Profiles of the Countries, member EMBs and Partner Organisations of A-WEB’  and ‘COVID 19 and International Election Experience’ which will be released at the Webinar for the benefit of the entire A-WEB community.   The Centre is going to bring out a number of publications and documents, including a world class quarterly ‘A-WEB India Journal of Elections’.  A brochure on the Journal is  also being released at the Webinar.       
    6. At the Webinar, presentations will be made by participating EMBs and organisations.  Session I which will be chaired by Shri Sushil Chandra, Hon’ble Election Commissioner will include presentations by Fiji, Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan  as well as International IDEA and A-WEB  where these EMBs and organisations are going to   share the   challenges faced as well as their experiences  and perspectives for  holding elections during COVID 19.   Session II, which will be chaired by Shri Rajiv Kumar, Hon’ble Election Commissioner will have presentations from  South Africa, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Malawi and IFES.   
    7.  It is hoped that interactions and discussions at the International Webinar on 21 Sep 2020 will provide a good opportunity to all the participants to exchange ideas and learn from each others’ experience of holding and managing elections in challenging times of COVID 19 pandemic to ensure free, fair, transparent as well as safe elections.   
     
     
     
     
       

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  8. PRESS RELEASE

    No. ECI/PN/58/2020                                         
    Dated: 11th September, 2020
    PRESS RELEASE
    In continuation of the detailed instructions dated 10.10.2018 and 6.3.2020  issued by ECI in the matter of publicity of criminal antecedents by the contesting candidates as well as by the political parties nominating such candidates, it was discussed at length in the Commission’s meeting today. Commission decided to further streamline the instructions concerning publicity of criminal antecedents by candidates concerned and by the political parties, who nominate them for elections. Commission has always emphasised on this moral yardstick for overall betterment of electoral democracy. 
    2. Highlights of the modified instructions are as follows:
    A.  Revised Timeline for Publicity 
    As per the revised guideline, the candidates as well as the political parties, regarding candidates nominated by them, will publish the details of criminal antecedents, if any, in newspapers and television in following manner: 
    (i) First publicity:       Within first 4 days of last date of withdrawal. (ii) Second publicity:   Within 5th to 8th day of last date of withdrawal (iii) Third publicity:       From 9th day till the last day of campaign, i.e. two days prior to date of poll) This timeline will help the voters in exercising their choices in more informed manner.
    B. Regarding the publicity by uncontested winning candidates as well as the political parties who nominate them, it is clarified that uncontested winner candidates as well as the political parties who nominate them shall also publicise the criminal antecedents, if any, as prescribed for other contesting candidates and political parties. 
    3. As decided by Commission, a Compendium of all instructions and formats issued so far, in this matter, is being published for the benefit of stakeholders. This will help in creating more awareness amongst the voters and other stakeholders.
    4. All instructions, in this regard, must be complied by the  contesting candidates with criminal antecedents and the political parties regarding their nominated candidates.
    5. These modified instructions shall apply with immediate effect.   

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  9. PRESS RELEASE

    No. ECI/PN/57/2020                                          
    Dated: 4th September, 2020
     
    PRESS RELEASE
    Commission meeting was held today regarding holding of  bye-elections due in various states. Presently, there are 65 clear vacancies due for bye-elections in Assembly/Parliamentary Constituency, out of which there are 64 vacancies in the State Legislative Assemblies of various states and 1(one) vacancy for Parliamentary Constituency.
    The Commission reviewed the reports and inputs from Chief Secretaries/ Chief Electoral Officers of many of the concerned states seeking deferment of the bye-elections in their states in view of several factors including the extra-ordinary heavy rains in some places and other constraints like pandemic etc.
    Considering that General Assembly Elections of Bihar are also due and required to be completed before 29th November 2020, Commission has decided to conduct all the 65 bye-elections and the General Assembly Elections of Bihar around the same time. One of the major factors in clubbing them together is the relative ease of movement of CAPF/ other law and order forces, and related logistics issues.
    Announcement of schedule of Bihar General Assembly Elections as well as these bye-elections will be done by the Commission at appropriate time.

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  10. ECI formally welcomes Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar

    No. ECI/PN/56/2020                                           
    Dated: 3rd September, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI formally welcomes Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar
    Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora, and Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra, formally welcomed Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar in the Commission meeting today. Other officers of the Commission, including Secretary General Shri Umesh Sinha, DECs, Directors and Senior Principal Secretaries were also present on the occasion. 
    Welcoming Shri Rajiv Kumar, the CEC recalled his rich administrative experience across a range of sectors, especially DoPT, Banking and Finance. He appreciated the path-breaking work done by Shri Rajiv Kumar in his earlier assignments. He said the Commission will be immensely benefited by his rich experience.
    CEC described the Election Commission as a unique family, which seamlessly co-opts the required support from Central and State Governments for the smooth conduct of elections, even while maintaining its distinctive identity. He reiterated the Commission’s resolve to uphold and strengthen the lofty objectives enshrined in the Constitution of India – especially the Preamble thereof. CEC also mentioned recent work done by the Commission, especially in the area of IT Applications, Accessibility and Inclusion etc. 
    In his welcome remarks, Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra recalled his earlier experience of working with Shri Kumar, and praised his clarity of thought and meticulous approach to work. 
    In his remarks, Shri Kumar thanked CEC Shri Arora and Election Commissioner Shri Chandra for the warm welcome to the ECI family, adding that he feels extremely privileged and humbled by this graceful gesture. He spoke of the importance of robust Institutions of governance, and said he will try to give his best to the Commission. 

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  11. Shri Rajiv Kumar takes over as new Election Commissioner

    No. ECI/PN/55/2020                                            
    Dated: 1st September, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Shri Rajiv Kumar takes over as new Election Commissioner
    Shri Rajiv Kumar today assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India. Sh Kumar joins the Election Commission of India with Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra.
    Born on 19th February 1960, Shri Rajiv Kumar is a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service Officer.  During the span of more than 36 years of Government of India service, Shri Kumar has worked in various Ministries at the Centre and his state cadre of Bihar/Jharkhand. 

    Sh. Rajiv Kumar assuming charge as the new Election Commissioner of India
    Acquiring his academic degrees of B.SC, LL.B, PGDM and MA Public Policy, Shri Kumar has extensive work experience across Social Sector, Environment & Forests, Human Resources, Finance and Banking Sector. 
    He has keen commitment to use of technology applications and to bring about amendments in extant policy regime towards greater transparency, delivery
    of services to citizens directly, eliminating intermediaries. Sh Kumar retired as Finance Secretary, Government of India in February 2020. He was thereafter appointed as Chairman Public Enterprises Selection Board from April 2020 till demitting office on 31st August 2020.  Sh Kumar has also been Establishment Officer, Department of Personnel and Training from 2015-17 and prior to that Joint Secretary, Department of Expenditure with earlier assignments in Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Forests as also Education department in State cadre.
    Sh Rajiv Kumar is an avid trekker with keen interest in Indian classical and devotional music.

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  12. ECI mourns passing away of Sh Pranab Mukherjee

    No. ECI/PN/54/2020                                                
    31st August 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI mourns passing away of Sh Pranab Mukherjee
    Election Commission of India deeply mourns the passing away of Former President Sh Pranab Mukherjee.
    Expressing grief, Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora said  "In his demise, the nation has lost a widely respected savant and a Rajrishi known for his encyclopaedic knowledge of economic, constitutional and historical affairs."  
    Recalling Sh Pranab Mukherjee's specific association with  Election Commission of India, CEC Sh Arora said despite failing health Shri Pranab Mukherjee had graciously accepted ECI's invitation and delivered the first Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture, organised by ECI on 23rd January 2020. Shri Mukherjee, as President of the republic, had addressed ECI's National Voters Day event twice in 2016 and 2017. 
    "May God give his family the strength to bear this irreparable loss", Sh Arora added.
     

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  13. ECI bids farewell to Sh Ashok Lavasa ECI also releases Volume VI of Landmark Judgments, a Compendium of Judgments

    No. ECI/PN/53/2020                                                  
    28th August 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI bids farewell to Sh Ashok Lavasa
    ECI also releases Volume VI of Landmark Judgments, a Compendium of Judgments
    Election Commission of India today bade a warm farewell to outgoing Election Commissioner Sh Ashok Lavasa who is moving on to take up the prestigious assignment as Vice-President, Asian Development Bank at Manila, Philippines. Sh Ashok Lavasa had joined ECI as Election Commissioner on the 23rd of January 2018 and would hold the office of the Election Commission till 31st August 2020.

    Bidding him farewell, CEC Sh Sunil Arora wished Sh Ashok Lavasa the very best ahead for meeting bigger challenges and achieving more milestones. He mentioned that ECI’s loss is ADB’s gain where Sh. Lavasa's competence would now be available at the wider multilateral platform for the daunting task of restructuring economies in post-Covid scenario.
                On the occasion, Election Commissioner Sh. Sushil Chandra in his speech appreciated the  working of Sh. Ashok Lavasa in Ministry of Finance earlier. He specially applauded Sh Lavasa for his guidance in framing of broad guidelines for elections to be held in Covid times. 
    Sh. Ashok Lavasa said he would remember his two and a half year stint at the Commission as a memorable experience. He acknowledged that it was a difficult choice for him whether to continue in ECI or move on to the global canvas of ADB.
    The Commission also bid farewell to outgoing Director Sh Vikram Batra, Director Election Expenditure as he returns to his cadre after completing his term at Election Commission of India.
    Volume VI of Landmark Judgments, a compendium of judgments delivered by Hon’ble Supreme Court and various High Courts from January 2017 to May 2019, that is, till the conclusion of Lok Sabha General Election 2019, was also released today. Commission released its e-version also https://eci.gov.in/ebooks/landmark-judgment/index.html for wider reach. It consists of 29 significant judgments covering various aspects of electoral process like nomination, affidavit, EVM VVPAT, Model Code of Conduct, corrupt practices and other related matters. This volume also lists the judgments already published by ECI in previous five volumes of Landmark Judgments. Additionally, the volume also lists 632 cases filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court and Hon’ble High Courts during the period leading to General Election, 2019.
    Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora in his message said “I harbour the sanguine hope that this publication would further illuminate us about the domain of election law and embolden the officials concerned to execute the gigantic exercise by taking solace in the fact that their actions have consistently earned the approbation of judiciary.”
    Sh. Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner, in his message said “This volume will broaden understanding of the laws governing the vast electoral exercise of our country.”
    Sh. Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner, in his remarks hoped that this volume will benefit all citizens of the country in understanding the election process.
     

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  14. PRESS NOTE

    No. ECI/PN/52/2020                                         
    Dated: 24th August, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    1. Election Commission of India issued an Order No. 23/SEC/2008/ERS dated 10th December, 2008 wherein guidelines’ regarding sharing of electoral roll and EPIC data base with various Government departments was laid down.  The copy of the guidelines is enclosed.  Thereafter, ECI issued further instructions to the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) on 16 July 2020 stating, inter alia, that the State Election Commissions (SECs) shall also not share the ER database provided by the CEOs to any other organisation/agency.
    2. It is hereby clarified in view of the anecdotal reports which are not based on empirical facts that the Commission has not in any way deviated from the original guidelines of 2008 and clarificatory orders of 2020 in any manner. 
    3. It also needs to be stated that as far as criminal investigations by regulatory departments/enforcement agencies is concerned, it is under their own extant Acts, Rules and guidelines, which in any case can be challenged in the Hon’ble Courts of law. In fact, the entire super structure of criminal justice system is erected on this.  It is only when the Model Code of Conduct is enforced that Election Commission invariably takes note of any such event(s)/incident(s), which have the potential of disturbing and/or disrupting the smooth conduct of electoral process and ECI does not interfere in the day to day functioning of the regulatory departments/enforcement agencies. However, if any political entity/individual brings to the notice of the Commission any particular instance which has the potential of disturbing electoral process, the Commission has the well established mechanism of seeking inputs from the CEOs, General Observers, Police Observers and Expenditure Observers during this time and necessary action is taken as per the reports of these functionaries. 
    4. There have been many instances during the last Lok Sabha /Vidhan Sabha Elections wherein very senior functionaries have been removed/relocated from the senior most positions in the State Governments in such eventualities.
     

    382 downloads

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  15. New office premises for Delimitation Commission inaugurated

    No. ECI/PN/51/2020 
    Dated: 24th August, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE 
     New office premises for Delimitation Commission inaugurated
    New office premises for Delimitation Commission was opened by Justice Mrs. Ranjana Desai, Chairperson, Delimitation Commission today in the august presence of Sh. Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner, and Sh. Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner and Member, Delimitation Commission. This office is located on Third Floor of Hotel Ashoka. It has requisite spaces including a Conference Hall with video conferencing facilities.
    Delimitation Commission has already started functioning since March, 2020. It has held four formal meetings as yet. All Associate Members have already been nominated for each State/ Union Territory concerned. The Commission has kept 15th June 2020 as the date for freezing of administrative districts in these States/ UTs. Data collection work has also been completed. With the opening of this new office, it is hoped that formal deliberations with Associate Members would start soon to expedite the process of delimitation as envisaged. 
    Senior officers of Election Commission, CMD NBCC and officers from ITDC were also present on the occasion.

    174 downloads

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  16. Press Note

    Election Commission of India approved the broad guidelines for conduct of general/bye elections during COVID-19 period. These are available at
    https://eci.gov.in/files/file/12167-guidelines-for-conduct-of-general-electionbye-election-during-covid-19/ 

    1,317 downloads

    Submitted

  17. Election to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh -reg.

    No: ECI/PN/49/2020  
    Dated 21st August, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:       Bye Election to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh -reg.
                    There is one casual vacancy in the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh as per following details: -
    State
    Name of Members
    Reason
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    Uttar Pradesh
    Shri Amar Singh
    Death
    01.08.2020
    04.07.2022
     
    2.            The Commission has decided to hold bye-election to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh to fill up the above said vacancy in accordance with the following schedule: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
      Issue of Notifications
    25th August, 2020 (Tuesday)
      Last date of making nominations
    01st September, 2020 (Tuesday)
      Scrutiny of nominations
    02nd September, 2020 (Wednesday)
      Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    04th September, 2020 (Friday)
      Date of Poll
    11th September, 2020 (Friday)
      Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
      Counting of Votes
    11th September, 2020 (Friday) at 05:00 pm
      Date before which election shall be completed
    14th September, 2020 (Monday)
    3       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.

    210 downloads

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  18. Press Release

    No: ECI/PN/48/2020                                  
    Dated 18th August, 2020
     
    Press Release
    The matter of issuing broad guidelines for General/Bye Elections during COVID-19 period was discussed in the Commission meeting today. Commission considered the views/suggestions given by the Political Parties. It also considered the suggestions/recommendations made by Chief Electoral Officers of States/UTs. After considering all these, Commission directed to frame broad guidelines, taking into account MHA/MOHFW guidelines on COVID-19, within three days. Commission directed that on the basis of these guidelines, Chief Electoral Officers of the election going States shall also prepare a comprehensive plan for State/district concerned for COVID-19 related measures, keeping in view, the local conditions,  during the conduct of elections.    
     

    452 downloads

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  19. Webinar Organised On Technology Aspects of Remote Voting

    No. ECI/PN/47/2020 
    Dated: 11th August, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
     Webinar Organised On Technology Aspects of Remote Voting
    Election Commission of India, in partnership with Tamil Nadu e-governance Agency organized a webinar on “Technology aspects of remote voting: Exploring Block chain” on 10th August 2020.  The webinar brought together technologists, academicians, policy practitioners, cyber security experts from India and around the world. The initial idea for using block chain based voting solution emerged from an initial discussion of Chief Election Commissioner, Sh Sunil Arora, during his visit to Indian Institute of Technology, Madras on 30th October 2019. 
    Election Commissioner Sh Sushil Chandra delivered the keynote address in the webinar. Sh Chandra stressed upon the importance of ensuring greater “inclusiveness in elections.” He emphasized that a large number of voters are unable to exercise their franchise on account of a geographical barrier. By virtue of occupation, education, medical treatment or other reasons, there have been instances of current residence of such electors being different from the place of registration in electoral rolls. Sh Chandra however emphasised that in designing a technology based solution, the primary consideration should be the ability to “inspire trust of all stakeholders, assure integrity of electoral process and secrecy and inviolability of ballot.” Political parties, he felt, need to be reassured that the system is tamper proof and secure. Remote voting, Sh Chandra said, marks a departure from conventional polling station, which was tied to a geographical location. However, he clarified that the Commission is not envisioning internet based voting from home. Remote voting project aspires for enablement of voters residing in remote locations, away from their designated polling stations, to cast ballot in a secured fashion. Sh Chandra expressed optimism that deliberations amongst experts will help the Commission in designing a robust remote voting model which is more inclusive and empowering. 
    More than 800 people signed up for the webinar from around the world. Speakers drew upon global experience of blockchain technology, dwelling upon possibilities of scalability; issues of data privacy and regulation; data security; authentication and verifiability. The webinar was addressed by Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India, Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Director of IIT Bhilai, Prof Rajat Moona, Director of IIT Madras, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi. Sandra Ro, CEO of Global Blockchain Business council, Monique Bachner, Member of International Association for Trusted Blockchain applications, Ismael Arribas, President of Kunfud Spanish chapter of Government Blockchain application also addressed different sessions. 
    The webinar was convened by Deputy Election Commissioner, Sh Ashish Kundra, in charge of the IT division, ECI as part of a wider consultation exercise with various stakeholders to dwell on different aspects of remote voting. 

    140 downloads

    Submitted

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

    No. ECI/PN/46/2020
    Dated: 30thJuly, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
     Sub:-          Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members ofLegislative 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 follow: 
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    Sri MopideviVenkataRamanaRao
    By MLAs
    Resignation
    on 01.07.2020
    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 vacancyas per the following schedule: - 
    S.No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.     
    Issue of Notifications
    06th August, 2020 (Thursday)
    2.     
    Last Date of making nominations
    13th August, 2020 (Thursday)
    3.     
    Scrutiny of nominations
    14th August, 2020 (Friday)
    4.     
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    17th August, 2020 (Monday)
    5.     
    Date of Poll
    24th August, 2020 (Monday)
    6.     
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.     
    Counting of Votes
    24th August, 2020 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.     
    Date before which election shall be completed
    26th August, 2020 (Wednesday)
    3.       Commission has also directed the Chief Secretary of the State 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 elections.

    140 downloads

    Submitted

  21. Bye Elections to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh and Kerala -reg.

    No. ECI/PN/45/2020
    Dated: 30th July, 2020 
    Press Note
    Subject:      Bye Elections to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh and Kerala -reg.
      There are two casual vacancies in the Council of States one each from Uttar Pradesh and Kerala as per following details: -
    State
    Name of Members
    Reason
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    Uttar Pradesh
    Beni Prasad Verma
    Death
    27.03.2020
    04.07.2022
    Kerala
    M.P. Veerendra Kumar
    Death
    28.05.2020
    02.04.2022
    2.  The Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh and Kerala to fill up the above said vacancies in accordance with the following schedule: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
      Issue of Notifications
    06th August, 2020 (Thursday)
      Last date of making nominations
    13th August, 2020 (Thursday)
      Scrutiny of nominations
    14th August, 2020 (Friday)
      Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    17th August, 2020 (Monday)
      Date of Poll
    24th August, 2020 (Monday)
      Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
      Counting of Votes
    24th August, 2020 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
      Date before which election shall be completed
    26th August, 2020 (Wednesday)
    3.       Commission has also directed the Chief Secretaries concerned 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 elections.

    130 downloads

    Submitted

  22. Clarification regarding bye-elections

    No. ECI/PN/44/2020                                                 
    Dated: 23rd July, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    Clarification regarding bye-elections
    This is with reference to letter No.99/bye-election/2020/EPS dated 22.7.2020 issued by Shri Sumit Mukherjee, Sr. Pr. Secretary in the Commission. This is causing some confusion in some sections of media. It is hereby clarified that the aforesaid communication is only in respect of eight constituencies regarding which a reference to Ministry of Law & Justice was made vide letter No. 99/bye-election/2020/EPS dated 03.7.2020 due to some extraordinary circumstances peculiar to these constituencies. However, the total number of bye-elections due is 56 Assembly Constituencies (including the eight referred to earlier) besides one Parliamentary Constituency. Out of these total number of 57 bye-elections, it is hereby clarified that the Commission has already taken a decision to hold all bye-election as per provisions of Section 151A of the R.P. Act, 1951. In any case the deferring of aforementioned eight bye-elections is only up to 7th September, 2020. This matter of timing etc. of bye-elections is also slotted for discussion in the Election Commission Meeting to be held tomorrow, i.e., 24.7.2020.
     
     
     
     
     

    428 downloads

    Submitted

  23. Commission decides not to extend the facility of postal ballot to electors above 65 years of age in General Assembly Elections in Bihar and by elections due in near future in view of constraints of logistics, manpower and safety protocols of Covid-19    

    No. ECI/PN/43/2020  
    Date: 16th July, 2020
     
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Commission decides not to extend the facility of postal ballot to electors above 65 years of age in General Assembly Elections in Bihar and by elections due in near future in view of constraints of logistics, manpower and safety protocols of Covid-19             
    In view of COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown guidelines have been issued in the country from time to time by National Disaster Management Authority, under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. In the guideline dated 17.05.2020, issued by Union Home Secretary and Chairperson National Executive Committee, constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005,  it has been specified vide para 7 that,
    “Protection of vulnerable persons: Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.”  
    Simultaneously, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare prescribed detailed procedure of quarantine (Home/Institutional) for COVID-19 positive/suspect persons vide its instructions dated 05.04.2020 and 18.05.2020. 
    2. Considering this extraordinary situation, Commission had recommended extension of optional postal ballot facilities to voters above 65 years in order to minimize their vulnerability and exposure at the Polling stations and to Covid positive voters and voters under quarantine so that they are not deprived of their voting rights. On the recommendation of the Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice notified the amended rules accordingly on 19.06.2020. However, before implementing this enabling provision, due notification is issued by the Commission, under section 60(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 at the time of election. Before implementing these enabling provisions, Commission continually assesses the field situation and logistics of operationalization. 
    3.    Commission has been constantly monitoring the electoral preparedness for the coming by-elections and General elections of Assembly in Bihar, in view of this unprecedented environment. Commission has already limited the number of electors to one thousand for each polling station for ease of voting, especially for elderly and vulnerable sections of electors, in COVID-19 situations. In view of this, the State is creating additional 34,000 (approximately) polling stations (45% more), which will increase the total number of polling stations to around 1,06,000. This would entail formidable logistical challenges of mobilizing 1.8 lakh more polling personnel and other additional resources including requirement of much larger number of vehicles in the State of Bihar. Similar challenges would be there for the coming by-elections also.  
    4.     Considering all these issues, challenges and constraints and in view of the decision to limit the number of electors at each polling station to 1000, Commission has decided not to issue the notification to extend the facility of postal ballot to the electors above 65 years of age in the coming General Elections in Bihar and by- elections due in the near future. However, facility of optional postal ballot to electors who are above 80 years of age, PwD Voters, the electors engaged in essential services and voters who are COVID-19 positive/suspect in quarantine (home/institutional) will be extended in these elections.
     
     

    290 downloads

    Submitted

  24. Press Note dated 16/06/2020

    No. ECI/PN/42/2020                                      
    Dated: 16th June, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    A meeting of full Election Commission comprising Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora and two Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra, assisted by senior officers of the Commission, was held today. Amongst other issues, the Commission discussed the matter of taking cognizance of complaints of false affidavits filed by some candidates along with their nominations, which adversely affects the rights of voters as well as impinges on the purity of electoral process.
    The exercise of informed franchise is a foundational requirement for free and fair elections. In People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India (2003) 4 SCC 399 (PUCL case), Hon’ble Supreme Court observed: “..the foundation of a healthy democracy is to have well-informed citizens-voters.”  In this case, the Apex Court further observed: “A little man – a citizen – a voter is the master of his vote. He must have necessary information so that he can intelligently decide in favour of a candidate who satisfies his criterion of being elected as an MP or MLA.” The voter has a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution to know about the candidates at an election. The genesis of the disclosure requirements, now incorporated in Form 26, appended to the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 was the case of Union of India v. Association of Democratic Reforms (2002) 5 SCC 294. 
    In his/her affidavit, a candidate discloses (i) criminal antecedents; (ii) assets and liabilities; and (iii) educational qualifications. Subsequently, Commission in 2013, decided that the assets and liabilities of the candidates, as filed in their affidavits, would be verified by Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT).
    Filing of false affidavits by candidates during the nomination process, in terms of false or incomplete information,  is a key challenge as it undermines the rights of voters to be fully informed about their political representatives. Supreme Court in catena of judgments (Resurgent India v. Election Commission of India, 2014 14 SCC 189; Rambabu Singh Thakur v. Sunil Arora 2020 SCC online SC178) has held the truthful disclosure of all relevant information by a candidate as integral to the electoral process and any denial or false disclosure would tantamount to vitiating the integrity of elections. 
     Commission views the erosion of this fundamental right as an affront to the democratic ideals which underpin the system of government. Furnishing false information in election affidavits is a devious design to defeat the right of the voter to be informed and transparency in elections. The Commission has today decided to robustly address this challenge to further ensure free, fair and ethical elections in the country.
    Commission has been receiving complaints regarding furnishing of false information in the affidavits of some candidates. As per the extant provision, individuals are filing such complaints in the competent court under section 125A of the Representation of People Act, 1951. Now, Commission has reviewed this position  and decided that, in pursuit of a level-playing field, it will take cognisance of complaints, which indicate serious omission on the part of the candidate, and refer such matters to the relevant investigating authorities on a case-to-case basis.

    891 downloads

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

    No. ECI/PN/41/2020
    Dated: 15thJune, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
     Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members ofLegislative 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 follow:
     
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    Sri DokkaManikyaVara Prasad
    By MLAs
    Resignation on 09.03.2020
    29.03.2023
     
    2.           The Commission, after receiving inputs from CEO, Andhra Pradesh, 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 vacancyas per the following schedule: -
     
    S.No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.    
    Issue of Notifications
    18th June, 2020 (Thursday)
    2.    
    Last Date of making nominations
    25th June, 2020 (Thursday)
    3.    
    Scrutiny of nominations
    26th June, 2020 (Friday)
    4.    
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    29th June, 2020 (Monday)
    5.    
    Date of Poll
    06th July, 2020 (Monday)
    6.    
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am-04:00 pm
    7.    
    Counting of Votes
    06th July, 2020 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.    
    Date before which election shall be completed
    08th July, 2020 (Wednesday)
    3.       Adequate measures for close monitoring of the election process by appointing observers shall be taken to ensure free and fair election.
    4.       Commission has also directed the Chief Secretary of the State 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 elections.

    198 downloads

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