Voter Helpline App
हिंदी में देखें   |   Skip to main content   |   Screen Reader Access   |   A-   |   A+   |   Theme
Jump to content

75 files

  1. ECI condoles passing away of Former EC Dr. GVG Krishnamurty

    No. ECI/PN/49/2021
    Dated: 14th April 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI Condoles passing away of Former EC Dr. GVG Krishnamurty
    Election Commission of India deeply mourns the passing away of Former Election Commissioner Dr GVG Krishnamurty. Aged 86 yrs Former Election Commissioner of India Dr Krishnamurty, breathed his last at about 10am today due to age related ailments. He is survived by his wife Mrs Padma Murty and his son Dr. G.V.Rao, Senior Advocate Supreme Court of India and daughter Dr.Radha Bodapati.
    Mourning the loss of an illustrious former member of ECI family, Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sushil Chandra recalled that Dr GVG Krishnamurty made exemplary contribution during his tenure in the Commission as Election Commissioner from 1st October 1993 to 30th September 1996. His contributions particularly in strengthening Laws and procedures of conducting elections will be long remembered by the Commission.
    Dr Krishnamurty’s last rites were held at Lodhi Road crematorium, Delhi. A wreath on behalf of ECI was laid in his honour.

    73 downloads

    Submitted

  2. Shri Sushil Chandra takes over as the 24th CEC of India ECI bids farewell to Sh. Sunil Arora

    No. ECI/PN/48/2021
    Dated: April 13, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
     Shri Sushil Chandra takes over as the 24th CEC of India
    ECI bids farewell to Sh. Sunil Arora 
    Shri Sushil Chandra assumed charge as the 24th Chief Election Commissioner of India today, succeeding Shri Sunil Arora. Shri Arora demitted the office on 12th April, 2021 after completing his tenure.


    Shri Chandra has been serving in the Commission as Election Commissioner since 15 February 2019.He is also Member of Delimitation Commission since 18th February 2020 looking after Delimitation of Jammu Kashmir UT. Having held several posts in the Income-Tax Department for nearly 39 years, Sh Sushil Chandra had also been CBDT Chairman from 1stNovember 2016 – 14th February 2019.
    Since his tenure as Chairman, CBDT itself, Sh Chandra has played an active role in unearthing illegal money often used during Assembly Elections. With his continuous monitoring the seizures of cash, liquor, freebies, narcotics have increased substantially in recent elections. He has constantly emphasized the concept of "Inducement-Free" elections and it has become an important aspect of monitoring the electoral process in all ongoing and forthcoming elections. Process of focused and comprehensive monitoring through deployment of Special Expenditure Observers, activating the role of many more enforcement agencies in the process of Election Expenditure monitoring, more exhaustive and frequent reviews of observers and other agencies are few of the aspects of electoral management encouraged by him. His contributions are also reflective in systemic changes like the Form 26 that has now become an integral part of essential paperwork. Shri Chandra as Chairman CBDT took special efforts in the area of verification of affidavits filed by the candidates before elections. In 2018 in his role as Chairman CBDT, Shri Chandra was instrumental in evolving a uniform format of sharing details of all assets and liabilities not mentioned in the affidavits of the candidates. Facilitation through innovative IT applications in Election systems have been a unique contribution of Sh Sushil Chandra to the 2019 17thLok Sabha Elections and the Legislative Assembly Elections held since in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim, Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Delhi.
    Holding of elections to State Assemblies of Bihar, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal amidst Covid concerns and making processes such as nomination and filing of papers online, extending option of postal ballot to the specific categories of senior citizens, Persons with Disabilities, essential services personnel as also Covid patients/suspects, has seen Sh Chandra lead from the front with an iron will to work despite challenges.
    The ECI family bid a warm farewell to outgoing Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. Sunil Arora on 12th April, 2021. After a fulfilling tenure of nearly 43 months in Commission and nearly 29 months as CEC, Sh Arora demitted office having successfully steered the 17th Lok Sabha election in 2019 and  elections to 25 State Assemblies since joining ECI in September 2017.
    Bidding farewell to Sh Arora, Election Commissioner Sh Rajiv Kumar recalled various initiatives taken up by the Commission during the tenure of Sh. Arora like providing optional postal ballot facility to senior citizen and PwD electors, setting up of India A-WEB Centre, and Voluntary Code of Ethics. He said that Shri Arora has laid special emphasis on ensuring inclusive and accessible elections during the term. He also added that Shri Arora would continue to be a source of strength to the entire ECI family.
    Shri Sunil Arora in his remarks thanked all the members of the Commission and wished for the successful conduct of all future elections. Shri Arora recalled every election presents unique challenges but conducting elections to the 17th Lok Sabha and the decision to conduct Bihar assembly elections during a pandemic was the most difficult. He congratulated all the officials involved in the exercise for their meticulous planning and hard work to ensure the smooth and successful conduct of these elections.

    44 downloads

    Submitted

  3. Biennial Election to the Council of States from Kerala to fill the seats of members retiring on 21.04.2021-reg.

    Biennial Election to the Council of States from Kerala to fill the seats of members retiring on 21.04.2021-reg.     

    128 downloads

    Submitted

  4. Polling in Phase 4 Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal conducted today; ECI adjourns polling in PS 126 of 5-Sitalkuchi (SC) Assembly Constituency, Cooch Behar

    No. ECI/PN/46/2021
    Dated: 10th April, 2021
    Polling in Phase 4 Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal conducted today; ECI adjourns polling in PS 126 of 5-Sitalkuchi (SC) Assembly Constituency, Cooch Behar

    415 downloads

    Submitted

  5. Polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and for Phase 3 Assembly Constituencies in Assam and West Bengal conducted peacefully Voting held in 1.5 lakh Polling Stations across 475 Assembly Constituencies

    No. ECI/PN/45/2021
    Dated: 6th April, 2021
    Polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and for Phase 3 Assembly Constituencies in Assam and West Bengal conducted peacefully 
    Voting held in 1.5 lakh Polling Stations across 475 Assembly Constituencies 
     

    2,597 downloads

    Submitted

  6. ECI hosts 2 day International Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IVEP) 2021 on April 5-6, 2021

    No. ECI/PN/44/2021                                                   
    Dated: 5th April, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
     
     
    ECI hosts 2 day International Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IVEP) 2021 on April 5-6, 2021
    Inaugural issue of A-WEB India Journal of Elections released by CEC
    A-WEB India Journal of Elections to bridge the gap between academics & practice in the electoral landscape: CEC Shri Sunil Arora
    More than 100 delegates from 26 countries participate in the two day event
     
    Election Commission of India today hosted International Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IEVP) 2021 for Election Management Bodies (EMBs) /Organisations from 26 countries  and three International Organisations during the ongoing elections for Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. 
    Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora in his inaugural address said that the Covid 19 has led to an unprecedented disruption in election schedules all over the world and while the challenges for conducting elections were numerous, it also has presented an opportunity that brought Election Management Bodies together to share and learn from each others' best practices. Adding further, Shri Arora also touched upon ECI’s experience of conducting elections to the Bihar Legislative Assembly during these tough and testing times. Sh Arora stressed that the objective of the Election Commission amidst pandemic is to conduct free, fair, transparent, robust and safe elections. 
    On the sidelines of IEVP 2021, the Chief Election Commissioner also released the maiden issue of A-WEB India Journal of Elections today. Shri Sunil Arora while releasing the journal, emphasized that this academic journal would bridge the gap between academics and practice in electoral landscape. He further added that this scholarly journal is aimed at specialists, researchers and experts. He also appreciated the tremendous support received from Mr, Jonghun Choe, Secretary General, A-WEB and his colleagues in this endeavour. 
    Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar gave the overview of the magnitude of the ongoing Assembly elections in four States of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Puducherry which involved over 187.2 million voters spread over 824 Assembly constituencies. He added that the Commission has enhanced use of Information and Communication Technology to strengthen citizen participation and transparency.
    Secretary General  ECI, Shri Umesh Sinha  while giving an overview of the International Virtual Election Visitor Programme 2021 stressed that Election Commission of India has been very proactive in enhancing co-operation with Election Management Bodies across the world. He mentioned that over 106 delegates from over 26 countries are participating in the IVEP 2021. 
    A short film on the glimpse of ongoing elections in the states of Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and UT Puducherry and also on the A-WEB India Journal was showcased to the delegates. 
    The Journal, published by the India A-WEB Centre (http://indiaawebcentre.org/) which was set up at ECI in 2019, highlights research papers, articles, book reviews, etc. from eminent writers, experts, researchers  and practitioners from the A-WEB Community and from across democracies of the world in the area of Elections and Electoral Democracy.  A-WEB India Journal of Elections is envisaged to be a Journal of the highest international standards and will include peer reviewed contributions from members of theA-WEB community and beyond.
    Over 106 delegates from over 26 countries across the world including Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Madagascar,   Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives,Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal,Panama, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Suriname, Ukraine,  Uzbekistan and Zambiaetc. and 3 international organizations (viz. International IDEA,  International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) and Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) are participating in the IEVP 2021.  The Ambassadors of Georgia and Uzbekistan, Acting High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and other members of Diplomatic Corps are also attending the IEVP 2021.
    IEVP 2021 would provide the participants an overview of the large canvas of Indian electoral process, the new initiatives taken by ECI on voter facilitation, transparency and accessibility of electoral system, ECI’s response to the changing needs of training and capacity building and the new formats necessitated by COVID-19 and provide insights into the elections underway in the states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Puducherry.  On the 6th of April 2021 the delegates will be given a virtual tour of live snapshot of how elections are conducted at some polling stations including familiarization with the electoral process, polling station arrangements, facilitation of Persons with Disabilities and senior citizens and  interaction with various stakeholders.

    310 downloads

    Submitted

  7. Curtain Raiser ECI going to host International Virtual Election Visitors Programme 2021 during Elections for Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal (05- 06 April 2021)

    No. ECI/PN/43/2021
    Dated: 4th April 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Curtain Raiser 
    ECI going to host International Virtual Election Visitors Programme 2021 
    during  Elections for Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal [05- 06 April  2021] 
    Election Commission of India is going to organize International   Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IEVP) 2021 for foreign Election Management Bodies (EMBs) / Organisations from  05-06 April 2021 during the ongoing    Elections for  Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.  
    2. In the past, ECI has organized  International Election Visitor Programmes (IEVP) for  foreign EMBs/Organizations in 2014 Lok Sabha elections; elections for a few State Assemblies in Feb/March 2017; Lok Sabha Elections in May 2019 and International   Virtual Election Visitors Programme  2020 during Bihar Assembly elections.  The purpose of IEVP is to familiarise fellow  EMBs/Organisations from abroad  with our electoral system and best practices adopted in the world’s largest democracy.    
    3. The ongoing elections  in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have  an electorate of over 187.2 million, one of the largest in the world to vote so far amid the COVID19 pandemic.  It is a good opportunity to share our best practices and experience of conduct of our poll process as well as steps taken  to mitigate the effect of pandemic. 
    4. Over 106 delegates from over 26 countries across the world including  Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Madagascar,   Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius,   Mongolia, Nepal, Panama, Philippines, Romania, Russia,  South Africa, Suriname,   Ukraine,  Uzbekistan and Zambia etc.  and 3 international organizations (viz. International IDEA,  International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) and Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB)  are going to  participate in the IEVP 2021.  
    5. Besides that, the Ambassadors of Georgia and Uzbekistan, Acting High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and other members of Diplomatic Corps are also going to attend the IEVP 2021.
    6. The Programme for IEVP 2021 comprises a briefing session online on 05 April 2021 which would provide to the participants an  overview of the large canvas of Indian electoral process, the new initiatives taken by ECI on voter facilitation, transparency and accessibility of electoral system;  ECI’s response to  the changing needs of training and capacity building and the new formats necessitated by Covid 19 and  provide insights into the elections underway in the states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Puducherry.    With an electorate of more than 187.2 million, these elections pose formidable challenges and the preparations  made to address them as well as the unique initiatives taken to conduct a Covid safe election.  In the inaugural session the participants will be addressed by Shri Rajiv Kumar and Shri Sushil Chandra, Hon’ble Election Commissioners followed by Keynote Address by Shri Sunil Arora, Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of India and Chairperson, A-WEB.  
    7. On the sidelines of IEVP 2021, ECI would also be releasing the Inaugural issue of A-WEB Journal of Elections.   The Journal, published by the India A-WEB Centre (http://indiaawebcentre.org/ ) set up in 2019 at the ECI,   carries  Research Papers, Articles, Book Reviews etc from Eminent Writers, Experts, Researchers  and Practitioners from the A-WEB Community and from across democracies of the world in the area of Elections and Electoral Democracy.  A-WEB India Journal of Elections  is envisaged to be a Journal of the highest international standards and will  include peer reviewed contributions from members of the A-WEB community and beyond.
    8. On 06 April 2021,   the  delegates  will be given a live snapshot of how elections are conducted at some polling stations including familiarization with the electoral process ,polling station arrangements, ,facilitation of Persons with disabilities and senior citizens, and  interaction with various stakeholders .

    220 downloads

    Submitted

  8. REPORT OF SPECIAL GENERAL OBSERVER, ASSAM RECEIVED; ARMED ESCORT OFFICER ALSO SUSPENDED.

    No. ECI/PN/42/2021                                                    
    Dated:2nd April  2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    REPORT OF SPECIAL GENERAL OBSERVER, ASSAM RECEIVED;
    ARMED ESCORT OFFICER ALSO SUSPENDED.
    The report of Special General Observer, Assam has been received in the Commission wrt. the incident involving Polling Party of Polling Station 149- Indira M. V. School, Ratabari(SC) LAC utilizing a private vehicle for transportation of EVM.
    The Special Observer has carefully taken the inputs given bythe CEO, DC as well as the General Observer & the Police Observer of the said LAC and has recommended as follows:
    a) Action be taken against armed escort officer for leaving behind the stranded polling party and not ensuring their safe arrival at destination
    b) There does not seem to be any grounds for change of RO as this appears to be an isolated incident, due to the total negligence and foolishness of the Presiding Officer and his team. 
    c) There is otherwise no deliberate or malafide intention in the incident aimed to disrupt the polling process
    d) To ensure credibility and fairness, it is appropriate to order repoll in PS Number 149 Indira MV School of LAC 1 Ratabari.
    Consequent to Commission’s decisionPresiding Officer: Sahab Uddin Talukdar;First Polling Officer: SouravAcharjee; Second Polling Officer: Abdul MumitChoudhary;Third Polling officer: Sahab Uddin Tapadar; had already been placed under suspension since forenoon today.
    Thereafter, with the receipt of the said report from the Special General Observer, Armed Escort Officer Mr. LuhitGohain, Sub-Inspector of Police ( Armed Branch) of 3rd Assam Police Battalion, Titabor has also been suspended. The Commission has directed a repoll at Polling Station 149- Indira M. V. School of Ratabari(SC) LAC.

    373 downloads

    Submitted

  9. FACTUAL REPORT ON INCIDENT INVOLVING EVM AT KARIMGANJ ACTION TAKEN AGAINST PRESIDING OFFICER & REPOLL ORDERED AT P.S. NO. 149 OF RATABARI, ASSAM AS ADDED PRECAUTION

    No. ECI/PN/41/2021
    Dated: 2nd April, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    FACTUAL REPORT ON INCIDENT INVOLVING EVM AT KARIMGANJ
    ACTION TAKEN AGAINST PRESIDING OFFICER & REPOLL ORDERED AT P.S. NO. 149 OF RATABARI, ASSAM AS ADDED PRECAUTION 
    1. The polling party of No. 149- Indira M.V. School   of LAC 1 Ratabari(SC) met with an unfortunate incident on 01 April 2021. The polling party comprised of a Presiding Officer and three polling personnel. They were accompanied by the police personnel comprising of a constable and a homeguard.   
    2. The Polling party after completion of polls at 1800 Hrs. was returning in a convoy escorted by an armed escort led by the Police Sector Officer ABSI Luhit Gohain. The weather on the 01st of April was inclement and was raining heavily in the later hours of the day leading to the roads being muddy.
    3. NH8 is the only artery road leading into Karimganj from remote areas of the district. Since it was poll day and poll closes at 1800 hrs, about 1300 vehicles were returning on the single highway, as all polling parties return to Karimganj from 1800 Hrs. onwards. Combined with the inclement weather, this had led to an unprecedented traffic congestion on the highway. 
    4. As the above mentioned polling party was approaching Nilam Bazaar,  the vehicle which had been allotted by the transport cell of  election branch, DC office, to the party carrying the polling party broke down at about 2100 hrs on 01 April 2021. Due to the traffic congestion and the prevailing weather condition, the party became detached from its convoy. The party alighted from the vehicle and called the Sector Officer Sri Ajoy Sutradhar on his mobile and informed him. While the sector officer was arranging for an alternate vehicle, polling party decided to arrange a vehicle of its own so as to reach the Material Receipt Centre faster since they were in custody of polled EVMs. 
    5. At about 2120 hrs, the polling party hailed a passing vehicle and boarded it along with their EVM and other things without checking the ownership of the vehicle bearing the number AS-10B-0022. As reported by the polling party, they moved towards Karimganj  and as they reached Kanaishil in Karimganj at about 2200 hrs, they had to slow down in the traffic. As they slowed down, they were surrounded by a mob of about 50 people which started pelting stones at them. The mob also started abusing them and did not allow the vehicle to pass. When they asked the leader of the mob, he replied that it was the vehicle of Sri Krishnendu Paul who is a contesting candidate of a neighbouring constituency (Patharkandi LAC-2) and he levelled allegations that the EVM was being taken to be tampered with. 
    It was only then that they realised that something was amiss and alerted the Sector Officer. However, a larger crowd had gathered by then and they were attacked and held hostage by a mob along with the EVM in the vehicle at 2145 hrs alleging that the EVM was being taken to be tampered with. 
    6. Immediately after receiving information about the incident, DEO Karimganj along with SP Karimganj rushed to the spot and reached there at 2220 hrs. Also in the mean while, the antecedents of the vehicle were ascertained and it was found to be was registered in the name of Smti. Madhumita Paul, Wife of contesting candidate, Patharkandi LAC No 2, Shri Krishnendu Paul.  On arrival at the spot, it was observed that the crowd was pulling out the polling party and were about to assault them. The mob had turned violent and had damaged the glass of the vehicle by stone pelting. During the course of the stone pelting, SP Karimganj sustained minor injuries on his collarbone and blank firing had to be resorted to disperse the mob. The first polling officer was found missing in the commotion, the EVM’s and the remaining polling party along were safely escorted from the area and taken into the control of the DEO at 2320 hrs.
    On examination, the polled EVM comprising of BU, CU and VVPAT was found to be with its seal intact without any damage whatsoever. All the items have been deposited in the strong room. 
    7. The first polling officer was missing until the wee hours of the morning of 02 April 2021 as he was hiding in the undergrowth nearby and a search operation was being conducted all night. This delayed the transmission of this report by a few hours.
    8. In this regard, the Presiding Officer was issued show cause notice for violation of the transport protocol. Thereafter, the PO & 3 other officials have been placed under suspension. Although the seals of the EVM were found intact, it has nevertheless been decided to do a re-poll at  No. 149- Indira M.V. School   of LAC 1 Ratabari (SC) as added precaution. A report has also been sought from the Special Observer. 

    359 downloads

    Submitted

  10. ECI’s Statement on Nandigram Incident on 1.4.2021

    No. ECI/PN/40/2021
    Dated: 1stApril, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI’s Statement on Nandigram Incident on 1.4.2021
    Many sections of media have been covering the incident of alleged gherao of Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal and crowding at Polling Station No. 7 at 210 Nandigram AC today that interalia resulted in disruption of poll process. General Observer Shri Hemen Das (IAS 2009 batch) and Police Observer Shri Ashutosh Roy (IPS 1994 batch) were asked to go to the spot immediately. 
    The report received from the General Observer at 4.06 pm is as follows:
    “Good afternoon sir, 
    Polling at PS no 7 ( Boyal Moktab Primary School) is going on smoothly. Hon’ble CM, who is also a contesting candidate,  has left the place at about 3.35 pm after staying here for nearly one and half hour. 
    It may kindly be noted that polling was not disrupted at any moment. 
    Till now, 702 votes, out of 943, have been polled. It’s 74%. 
    Nearly 3000 people were there when we reached the station. All have left now. 
    Now, me and Police Observer are here besides the authorised police personnel including CAPF. 
    Regards"
    A separate hand written complaint was received from Hon’ble Chief Minister via CEO West Bengal today in the late afternoon. The same has been forwarded to Special General Observer Shri Ajay Nayak and Special Police Observer Shri Vivek Dube under intimation to CEO. They have been asked to send a report by tomorrow 6pm.

    401 downloads

    Submitted

  11. Polling for Phase 2 Assam and West Bengal Assembly Constituencies conducted peacefully.

    No. ECI/PN/39/2021                                                   
    Dated: 1stApril, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Polling for Phase 2 Assam and West Bengal Assembly Constituencies conducted peacefully. 
    Elaborate arrangements made for COVID safe, intimidation free and inducement free elections 
    The second phase of Assam and West Bengal Assembly Elections was conducted peacefully across 21,212 Polling Stations spread over 69 Assembly Constituencies today. The Commission has laid great emphasis on ensuring transparent and vigilant mechanism for COVID safe, intimidation free and inducement free elections amidst tight security arrangements. 
    The second phase of elections were conducted for 39 Assembly Constituencies in Assam. More than 73 lakh electorates across 10,592 Polling Stations are registered to exercise their franchise in this phase. Voting was held in 30 Assembly Constituencies of West Bengal with nearly 76 lakh electorates registered across 10,620 Polling Stations in Phase II. 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. 
    Polling across ACs was conducted under strict security arrangements. Election Commission has laid out an elaborate security plan to ensure smooth and safe conduct of elections. Eighteen Police Observers have been deployed by ECI to ensure safe environment during the elections. Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) along with the local police force have been deployed to ensure peaceful, intimidation free and conducive atmosphere for the smooth conduct of elections in a free, fair, inclusive and accessible manner. Route marches in vulnerable pockets, regular point patrolling and other Confidence Building Measures were carried out to reassure voters, especially those belonging to the weaker sections of society. Force deployment in the Assembly segments has been done under the supervision of the Central Observers deputed by the Commission.
    It is the standing instruction of the Commission that outsiders will not be allowed in the areas of poll going assembly constituencies during the silence period i.e. 48 hours before the end of polling hours. DEOs and SPs were given instructions during briefings that this instruction should be strictly adhered to. The Commission has also issued instruction that police officials including CAPF personnel will not go inside the polling booth unless required by Presiding Officer due to law and order problem. The Commission had reiterated this instruction in briefing of DEOs and police officials. These guidelines were strictly and rigorously followed. In any case anecdote reportage of any kind is not a substitute for hard empirical evidence. ECI is always committed to enquire into specific instances and taking swift action. 
    As a major push for conducting free and fair elections, live monitoring and webcasting of more than 50% of Polling Stations including critical and vulnerable polling booths has been put in place as per ECI norms, 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 5535 Polling Stations in West Bengal and 5193 Polling Stations in Assam. 
    To ensure inclusive and accessible elections, ECI has extended the option of postal ballot facility to PwDs, Senior Citizens above the age of 80 years, COVID-19 suspect or affected persons and persons employed in essential services. The Observers at the ground level oversaw that proper arrangements for facilitation were made available for these voters. 
    Keeping pandemic concerns in view, all the Polling Stations followed COVID-19 Safety protocols. For the safety of the voters and the election officials 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. BLOs and volunteers monitored and regulated strict compliance of social distancing norms at the Polling Stations. At the last hour of poll, polling was conducted in full COVID-19 protective gear, with proper COVID-19 protocols and supervision of health authorities.
    Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) like 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. Arrangements like transport facility, volunteers assisting Persons with Disability and senior citizens were present at the Polling Stations.
    During this phase, a total of 10620 Ballot Units (BUs), 10620 Control Units(CUs) and 10620 VVPATs were used in West Bengal and 10819 Ballot Units (BUs), 10592 Control Units (CUs) and 10592 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. 
    During the ongoing elections till second phase, a record seizure of Rs. 366.09 Crore has already been achieved for both the states. The seizure figure, which includes seizure of cash, liquor, narcotics, freebies etc, is more than six 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. 112.54 crore has been seized in Assam (as against a total seizure of Rs. 16.58 crore in LA 2016) and a total of 253.55 crores for West Bengal (as against a total seizure of Rs 44.33 crore in  LA 2016). For effective monitoring and hand holding a total of 53 & 85 Expenditure Observers have been deployed in Assam & West Bengal Assembly Elections, 2021 respectively. 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. A total number of 1306 cases of Model Code of Conduct violations were reported through the cVIGIL app from Assam out of which 927 were disposed as of 4.30 pm. Similarly 14499 cases were reported from West Bengal with 11630 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 39 ACs of phase 2 in Assam is 73.03 %. The poll Percentage reported from the 30 ACs of phase 2 in West Bengal is 80.43 % 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.
     
     
     
     
     
     

    243 downloads

    Submitted

  12. 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.

    1,444 downloads

    Submitted

  13. General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal & Puducherry and Bye Elections to the House of the People and Legislative Assemblies of various states– Ban on Exit Poll.

    No. ECI/PN/37/2021
    Dated: 26th March, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub: General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal & Puducherry and Bye Elections to the House of the People and Legislative Assemblies of various states– Ban on Exit Poll.
    Election Commission of India, in exercise of the powers under sub-section(1) of Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 has notified the period between 7:00 A.M on 27th March, 2021 (Saturday) and 7.30 PM on 29th April, 2021 (Thursday), as the period during which conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicizing the result of exit poll by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner shall be prohibited in the ongoing General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal & Puducherry and Bye Elections to the House of the People and Legislative Assemblies of various states issued vide Commission’s Press Note dated 26th February, 2021 and 16th March, 2021.
    Further, under Section 126(1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, would be prohibited during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in the respective polling areas in each phase of the aforesaid General election and bye-elections.
    Notification dated 24th March, 2021 issued in this regard is enclosed herewith for the information of all concerned.

    728 downloads

    Submitted

  14. Biennial Election to the Council of States from Kerala to fill the seats of members retiring on 21.04.2021-reg.

    No. ECI/PN/36/2021                                                   
    Dated: 24th March 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub: Biennial Election to the Council of States from Kerala to fill   the seats of members retiring on 21.04.2021-reg.
     
    The Commission vide Press Note No. ECI/PN/29/2021 dated 17.03.2021 had announced schedule for biennial election for 03 seats to Council of States from Kerala as mentioned therein, with the notification scheduled to be issued on 24.03.2021.
    In the meanwhile, a reference has been received from the Ministry of Law & Justice. Pending examination of the reference, the Commission has decided to keep the aforementioned proposed notification and schedule in abeyance till further orders.

    314 downloads

    Submitted

  15. Election Commission of India reviews poll preparedness for Assam Assembly Election

    No. ECI/PN/35/2021                                                    
    Dated: 22nd March 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Election Commission of India reviews poll preparedness for Assam Assembly Election
    The Election Commission of India (ECI) today reviewed poll preparedness for the General Elections to the Assam Legislative Assembly 2021. The review meeting was chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner of India, Sh Sunil Arora, in the presence of Election Commissioners Sh Sushil Chandra and Sh Rajiv Kumar at Tezpur as also later at Guwahati. Commission met with Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and other senior officers of all districts going to polls in the first and second phase of elections, as also nodal officers of the Enforcement Agencies. Specific review of Covid arrangements was done with Chief Secretary Sh Jishnu Barua and also issues with DGP Assam Sh B Mohanta.
    Sr Deputy Election Commissioner and Incharge of State of Assam at ECI, Sh Dharmendra Sharma, Deputy Election Commissioner Sh Sudeep Jain along with Special General Observer  Sh S. Srinivasan, Special Police Observer Sh Ashok Kumar and Special Expenditure Observer Smt Neena Nigam interacted with State officers. CEO, Assam Sh Nitin Khade, State Police Nodal Officer Sh Deepak Kedia, State Force Coordinator, CAPF Ms Sonal V Mishra, Divisional Commissioners of Upper and North Assam and DIGs of North-Eastern, Northern, Eastern, Central and Central-Western ranges participated in today’s review meeting held at Tezpur.
    Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora directed all the officials to ensure that elections in the State of Assam are conducted in a peaceful, free and fair and safe manner with high voter turnout. Sh Arora reiterated that this time Special General and Police Observers have been associated with randomization of State and Central Armed Police Forces to jointly decide the election security plan. 
    Shri Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner urged to expedite seizures and asked the departments to establish money trail linkages specifically related to election expenditure. He directed the investigative agencies for better co-ordination and collaboration of data, in order to improve their searches and seizure operations during the election period. Shri Rajiv Kumar, Election Commissioner asked all the agencies to continue with their vigil efforts even after the 3-phased election is over in the state of Assam, as the adjoining state, West Bengal will still be having elections. The border check posts need to be functioning strictly, till the election results, in order to deter any illegal goods transfer /crossings across the state borders, he emphasised.
    Special General Observer S. Srinivasan apprised the Commission of the overall status of preparedness in the State, while Special Police Observer Sh Ashok Kumar gave an overview of security measures put in place to ensure smooth conduct of the elections. Special Expenditure Observer Neena Nigam apprised ECI of seizures worth Rs 80 crores made already (as against Rs 16 crores done in previous elections) due to concerted efforts of the Flying Squad Teams and SSTs working round the clock to ensure free and fair elections in the state. 
                  The ECI team today reviewed poll preparedness of Phase I districts at Tezpur while DCs and SPs of second phase districts joined the meeting virtually. DIGs and Divisional Commissioners also apprised the Commission of the activities undertaken as yet. The Commission also met with Nodal officers of Central and State Regulatory Agencies like Excise Department, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate, Narcotics Control Bureau, Railway and Airports authorities, Postal Department, Security agencies like  CISF, Railway Police, SSB, State Level Bankers’ Committee etc to review in detail the strategy to curb misuse of money/drugs/liquor & freebies distribution during the election.
                During the meeting, presentations were made by the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police highlighting the status of poll preparedness in their respective districts. Status of distribution of EPICs, distribution of voter information slips, publishing of Criminal Antecedents by contesting candidates, provisions made at polling stations for voters above 80 years of age along with PwD voters, SVEEP activities being carried out to increase voter turnout, postal ballot status for absentee voters, cash seizures, drive against illicit liquor as also preparations put in place for COVID19 suspects, among others were elaborated upon.  Issues relating to inter-district coordination, deployment of security forces, management plan for remotely located polling stations, communication plan for shadow areas, provisions for webcasting and monitoring, resolution of complaints received over voter helplines and cVIGIL app, availability of Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) in auxillary Polling Stations, training of security forces, etc. were specifically reviewed.
    Assam is scheduled to go to polls in Three Phases with polls due on March 27,  April 1 and April 6th 2021 for the 126 ACs across 33530 Polling Stations covering more than 2.33 crore electors. 

    493 downloads

    Submitted

  16. Ban on Bike Rallies during 72 hours before the date of poll and poll day in the all poll going constituencies

    No. ECI/PN/34/2021
    Dated: 22nd March 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Ban on Bike Rallies during 72 hours before the date of poll and poll day in the all poll going constituencies
    It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that in some places bikes are used by some antisocial elements to intimidate the voters before the poll day and on poll day.
    The Commission has considered the above issue and has decided that Bike Rallies shall not be allowed at any place 72 hours before date of poll and on the Poll day in all poll going constituencies. 
    Instructions in this regard has been issued to the Chief Electoral Officers of the poll bound states/UT, which is available at ECI’s website : https://eci.gov.in

    439 downloads

    Submitted

  17. PRESS NOTE

    No. ECI/PN/33/2021                                                    
    Dated: 20th March 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Election Commission in exercise of its plenary powers under Article 324 of the Constitution issued an Order today i.e. 20.03.2021 related to Municipal Corporations whose term have ended and are being run by erstwhile Chairperson(s)/Mayor(s) who are politically affiliated people and have been appointed on completion of their respective elected term by the Government of West Bengal as Administrator(s)/Head of Board of Administrators. It has been directed, inter alia, by the Commission that in order to avoid a situation where critical functions of urban local bodies are actually discharged and thereby affecting level playing field during the operation of Model Code of Conduct or has potential of and/or may give rise to a legitimate apprehension in the mind of the voters about the fairness and impartiality of the election process:
    1. To temporarily restrain such political appointees, who are holding the office of Administrators/ Head of Board of Administrators in the Municipal Corporations of West Bengal on appointment basis after the end of their elected term, from participating in/exercising the functions of the Board during the period the Model Code of Conduct is in force.
    2. That a committee headed by Chief Secretary, West Bengal, and Principal Secretary Urban Development, and Principal Secretary Personnel as members shall appoint the government officials, keeping in view ECI’s instructions dated 18.12.2020 to discharge the functions of the Administrators/ Head of Board of Administrator, as the case may be, during the period of Model Code of Conduct.
    3. That it is expected of Chief Secretary to ensure a level playing field in all other Municipal Bodies in the State of West Bengal by rigorous reviews of their decisions which can disturb the level playing field.
    4. To send compliance of the order by 10:00 hours on 22.03.2021.  
     Detailed order is also available at https://eci.gov.in/

    639 downloads

    Submitted

  18. Hon’ble High Court, Madras upholds ECI's facility of Postal Ballot for absentee voters

    No. ECI/PN/32/2021                                                          
    Dated: 18th March 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Hon’ble High Court, Madras upholds ECI's facility of Postal Ballot for absentee voters
    Hon’ble High Court, Madras on 17.03.2021 dismissed a petition (W.P. No. 20027 of 2020) challenging the vires of Section 60 (c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the corresponding rules to facilitate postal ballots for absentee voters including senior citizens of above 80 years, persons with disabilities, COVID-19 affected/ suspected and persons employed in essential services.
    The bench headed by Hon'ble Chief Justice in their order held that:
    “56. It must be acknowledged that all that the Election Commission has done here is to be inclusive and allow certain classes of persons who would have been excluded from exercising their franchise the right to use the postal ballot  and participate in the celebration of the festival of democracy. Wiser minds have seen the secrecy of the ballot and the conduct of fair elections to be complementary in the judgment in S.Raghbir Singh Gill. One may add, with humility, that if the process is made inclusive without compromising on either the secrecy of the ballot or the fairness in the conduct of elections, it would be a greater cause to celebrate and compliment the conducting body.”
    The Court did not find any arbitrariness in the classification of the persons committed by the rules of 1961 to cast their vote by postal ballot. It held:
    “60. Equally, there does not seem to be any arbitrariness in the classification of the persons permitted by the Rules of 1961 to cast their vote by postal ballot .The consideration appears to have been as to who may not be able to physically attend a polling booth to cast her vote. If such is the consideration, there is no arbitrariness in the classes of persons enumerated by the amendments of 2019 and 2020, particularly, as the object appears to be to afford such classes of persons their basic right to participate in the democratic process.”
    Hon'ble Court who observed that it is well within the plenary powers of the Commission to issue guidelines to facilitate the elections:
    “62. Finally, the petitioner's contention that the Election Commission has no jurisdiction to issue guidelines has to be discarded in the light of the plenary authority that may be seen to have been conferred on such Commission by Article 324 of the Constitution. Further, in A.C.Jose, the Supreme Court recognized the authority of the Election Commission to pass any orders in respect of the conduct of elections when there is no parliamentary legislation or rule made under the said legislation. Such authority was also seen when there was no express provision made in the rules for the Commission “to supplement ... the law ... in the matter of superintendence, direction and control as provided by Article 324 ...” In addition, the judgment recognised the plenary powers of the Commission “to give any direction in respect of the conduct of election ...”
    Commission started the optional postal ballot to some of these categories since Jharkhand elections of 2019. In 2020 Bihar General Elections, postal ballot options were extended to all these categories which was exercised by more than 52,000 such electors. In the on-going elections and bye-elections, Commission has already laid down detailed guidelines to facilitate postal ballot options for such categories of electors to make elections more inclusive, in the line of its motto “No voter to be left behind”.
      Spirit behind providing this facilitation has been that those voters who are above 80+ or PWD voters and have the problem of mobility and are not able to come to polling station because of debility, get the facility of voting through option of postal ballot from home. This facility has benefitted large number of such category of voters. It is also pertinent to mention that the Commission has made the polling stations totally accessible for PWD voters or senior citizens. Even the free transport facility is now provided to PWD voters or senior citizens.
     

    236 downloads

    Submitted

  19. General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal, 2021- Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of the RP Act, 1951.

    No. ECI/PN/31/2021 
    Date: 17th March, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Sub:   General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal, 2021- Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of the RP Act, 1951. 
             The schedule for holding General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, 2021 has been announced on 26.02.2021. Polls in the states are to be held as per the schedule given below: 
                    Name of State/UT
    Phase & Poll date
    Assam
    Three phases – 27/03/2021, 01/04/2021 & 06/04/2021
    Puducherry, Kerala & Tamil Nadu
    Single phase – 06/04/2021
    West Bengal
    Eight Phases - 27/03/2021, 01/04/2021, 06/04/2021, 10/04/2021, 17/04/2021, 22/04/2021, 26/04/2021 & 29/04/2021
     In this regard, attention of all media is invited to the Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 that prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. The relevant portions of the said Section 126 are re-produced below: 
    (126. Prohibition of public meeting during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion of poll-
    No person shall-
             (a).....................
             (b) Display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus;
             (c)........................
             In any polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in the polling area. Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. In this Section, the expression “election mater” means any.matter intended or   calculated to influence or affect the result of an election  2).      During elections, there are sometimes allegations of violation of the provisions of the above Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 by TV channels in the telecast of their panel discussions/debates and other news and current affairs programmes. The Commission has clarified in the past that the said Section 126 prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. "Election matter" has been defined in that Section as any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election. Violation of the aforesaid provisions of Section 126 is punishable with imprisonment up to a period of two years, or with fine or both. 
    3).     The Commission once again reiterates that the TV/Radio channels and cable networks/internet website/social media platforms should ensure that the contents of the programmes telecast/broadcast/ displayed by them during the period of 48 hours referred to in Section 126 do not contain any material, including views/appeals by panelists/participants that may be construed as promoting/ prejudicing the prospect of any particular party or candidate(s) or influencing/ affecting the result of the election. This shall, among other things include display of any opinion poll and of standard debates, analysis, visuals and sound-bytes. 
    4).      In this connection, attention is also invited to Section 126A of the R.P. Act 1951, which prohibits conduct of Exit poll and dissemination of its results during the period mentioned therein, i.e. the hour fixed for commencement of poll in first phase and half an hour after close of poll in last phase in the State. 
    5).      During the period not covered by Section 126, concerned TV/Radio/Cable/FM channels/internet websites/Social Media platforms are free to approach the state/ district/ local authorities for necessary permission for conducting any broadcast/Telecast related events (other than exit polls) which must also conform to the provisions of the model code of conduct, the programme code laid down by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the Cable Network  (Regulation)  Act  with  regard to decency,  maintenance  of communal  harmony,  etc.  All Internet websites and Social Media platforms must also comply with the provisions of The Information      Technology      Act,      2000, Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 and ECI guidelines No-491/SM/2013/Communication, dt 25thOctober, 2013, for all political content on their platform. As regards political advertisement, the same needs pre-certification by the Committees set up at State/District level as per the Commission's order  No. 509/75/2004/JS-I, dt 15th April,2004. 
    6).      Attention of all print media is also invited to the guidelines issued by Press Council of India dtd 30.07.2010 and ‘Norms of Journalistic Conduct- 2020’ to follow for observance during the election. (Annexure-I)  
    7).      Attention of the electronic media is invited to the "Guidelines for Election Broadcasts" issued by NBSA dt 3rd March, 2014. (Annexure-II) 
    8).      Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has also developed a “Voluntary Code of Ethics” for all the participating social media platforms to ensure free, fair & ethical usage of their platforms to maintain integrity of electoral process during the General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019. As agreed by IAMAI, vide letter dated 23.09.2019, the “Voluntary Code of Ethics” shall be observed during all elections. Accordingly, the Code is also applicable in GE to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal, 2021. Attention of all concerned Social Media platforms is invited to the “Voluntary Code of Ethics” dt 20th March, 2019 in this regard. (Annexure-III)
    9).      Attention is also drawn to IT (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 for compliance wherever applicable.
    The above advisory should be duly observed by all the concerned media.
    Download file to view Annexure...

    634 downloads

    Submitted

  20. Huge push by ECI to curb menace of money power during ongoing elections in States of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry

    No. ECI/PN/30/2021
    Dated: 17th March 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Huge push by ECI to curb menace of money power during ongoing elections in States of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry
    Record Seizures worth Rs. 331 crores have been made in Expenditure Monitoring Process in ongoing Assembly Elections, 2021 in States of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry. Seizures already surpass the total seizures made in Assembly Elections to these State/UT in 2016 and significant point is that record seizures have been made even though polling is yet to start. Details of record seizures already done so far (as on 16th March 2021) - compared to total of Rs 225.77 cr in AE 2016 is put as under:  
     (Figures in Rs Crores)
    States
    Cash
    Liquor (worth Rs crores)
    Drugs (worth Rs crores)
    Freebies
    Precious Metals
    Total
    Assam
    11.73
    17.25
    27.09
    4.87
    2.82
    63.75
    Puducherry
    2.32
    0.26
    0.15
    0.14
    2.85
    5.72
    Tamil Nadu
    50.86
    1.32
    0.35
    14.06
    61.04
    127.64
    Kerala
    5.46
    0.38
    0.68
    0.04
    15.23
    21.77
    West Bengal
    19.11
    9.72
    47.40
    29.42
    6.93
    112.59
    Total 
    89.48
    28.93
    75.67
    48.52
    88.87
    331.47
     
    Total seizures in the above poll bound States/UT  in Assembly Elections 2016: Rs 225.77 crores
    For effective monitoring to curb black money in General Election to Legislative Assemblies of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry, Election Commission of India has deployed 295 Expenditure Observers. Commission has also appointed five Special Expenditure Observers; Ms. Madhu Mahajan, ex-IRS(IT):1982 and Sh. B. R Balakrishnan, ex-IRS(IT):1983 (both for Tamil Nadu and UT of Puducherry), Sri B.Murali Kumar, ex-IRS, 1983 batch  (for West Bengal), Ms. Neena Nigam, ex-IRS, 1983 batch (for Assam) and Sri Pushpinder Singh Puniha, ex-IRS, 1985 batch (for Kerala). These officers having formidable domain expertise and impeccable track record are deputed for more effective election expenditure monitoring.  After due assessment, 259 Assembly Constituencies have been marked as Expenditure Sensitive Constituencies for more focussed vigil.
    On expenditure monitoring, Commission has convened various meetings with senior officials of Enforcement Agencies of poll bound States and UT. Seeking the importance of central enforcement agencies in election expenditure monitoring process, Commission also convened a meeting of Revenue Secretary, Chairman CBDT, Chairman CBIC and Director FIU-Ind on 02.03.2021.
    Distributing cash and gifts during electoral process is not permitted under the law, e.g., distribution of money, liquor, or any other item disbursed and given to the electors with the intent to influence them. This expenditure comes under the definition of “bribery” which is an offence both under 171B of IPC and under R.P. Act, 1951. The expenditure on such items is illegal. With the drive for curbing inducements which vitiate electoral process intensifying, the seizure figures are expected to rise further.

    119 downloads

    Submitted

  21. Biennial Election to the Council of States from Kerala to fill the seats of members retiring on 21.04.2021-reg.

    No. ECI/PN/29/2021  
    Dated 17th March, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Sub: Biennial Election to the Council of States from Kerala to fill the seats of members retiring on 21.04.2021-reg.
    The term of office of 03 members of the Rajya Sabha elected from Kerala is due to expire on their retirement in April, 2021 as detailed below:-       
    S. No
    Name of Member
    Date of Retirement
     
    1.       
    Abdul Wahab
     
    21.04.2021
     
     
    2.       
    K. K. Ragesh
    3.       
    Vayalar Ravi
     2. The Commission has decided to hold biennial election to the Council of States from Kerala to fill up the above said vacancies in accordance with the following Schedule: -
    Sl. No.
    Events
    Dates & Days

    1 Issue of Notifications
    24th March, 2021 (Wednesday)

    2 Last date of making nominations
    31st March, 2021 (Wednesday)

    3 Scrutiny of nominations
    03rd April, 2021 (Saturday)

    4 Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    05th April, 2021 (Monday)

    5 Date of Poll
    12th April, 2021 (Monday)

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

    7 Counting of Votes
    12th April, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm

    8 Date before which election shall be completed
    16th April, 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, Kerala 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 biennial election.
    5. Further, the Commission has also appointed the Chief Electoral Officer, Kerala as Observer for the election.

    87 downloads

    Submitted

  22. 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.

    1,309 downloads

    Submitted

  23. 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.

    353 downloads

    Submitted

  24. ECI to take stern action against fake news An FIR has been lodged against the fake news about EVM Hacking attributed to Former CEC Sh. T.S. Krishnamurthy circulated over internet

    No. ECI/PN/26/2021                                                             
     Dated: 11th March 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI to take stern action against fake news
    An FIR has been lodged against the fake news about EVM Hacking attributed to Former CEC Sh. T.S. Krishnamurthy circulated over internet
    It has come to the notice of Election Commission of India that an old fake news about EVM hacking is being circulated on some social media platforms/internet. The news item dated 21st December, 2017 maliciously attributed that former Chief Election Commissioner of India Sh. T.S. Krishnamurthy had opined that a particular party won assembly elections by hacking EVMs. This wrongful information was previously debunked by former CEC himself, soon after this matter had come to his knowledge in 2018. This news is again being circulated by some miscreants on social media. 
    Refuting this fake news Sh. Krishnamurthy has again issued a statement saying 
    "It has been brought to my notice that a fake news which had appeared in a Hindi newspaper quite some time back is being activated and re-circulated as if that I express doubts about the credibility of the Electronic Voting Machine, EVM, in the conduct of elections in India. This is utterly false and mischievous to circulate a wrong impression in the ensuing elections. I would like to reiterate that the EVMs are most credible and I have no doubt about its efficacy and reliability. Electronic Voting Machine is indeed our Nation’s pride and that there cannot be any doubt whatsoever about its credibility".
    On direction of the Commission an FIR has also been lodged by CEO Delhi, under the IPC Section 500 (punishment for defamation) and Representation of the People Act 1951 Section 128 (maintenance of secrecy of voting), 134(breach of official duty in connection with elections). Investigation has been initiated in this matter and stern action will be taken against the miscreants who have uploaded fake news to create wrong impressions about the election process. 
     

    309 downloads

    Submitted

  25. General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Assam, Kerala,Puducherry, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal, 2021-Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/State Political Parties-reg.

    No. ECI/PN/25/2021/Communication
    Dated: 9th March, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub:-General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal, 2021-Allotment of Broadcast/ Telecast time to National/State Political Parties-reg.
    Considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and enhanced relevance of non-contact based campaign, Election Commission of India, in consultation with Prasar Bharti Corporation has decided to double the broadcast/telecast time allotted to each National Party and recognized State Party of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal on Doordarshan and All India Radio during the ongoing General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal, 2021.
    2. A copy of the Commission’s Order No.437/TA-LA/1/2021/Communication, dated 9th March, 2021 regarding allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/State political parties in the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal, 2021 is enclosed for the information of the general public.
     

    1,231 downloads

    Submitted

ECI Main Website

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

Voter Helpline App

Voter HelplineDownload our Mobile App 'Voter Helpline' from Play Store and App Store. The  App 'Voter Helpline' provides you easy searching of your name in Electoral Roll, filling up online forms, knowing about Elections, and most importantly, lodging grievance. You will have access to everything about Election Commission of India. You can view the latest Press release, Current News, Events, Gallery and much more. You can also track your form application and status of your grievance. Click here to download. Don't forget to give your feedback from the link provided within the Application.

×
×
  • Create New...