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

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

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  2. COVID-19 vaccination drive begins at ECI headquarters

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

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  3. 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

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  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

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

    No. ECI/PN/10/2021
    Dated: 11th February, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:   Biennial election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana from Graduates’ and Teachers’ Constituencies-reg.
     The term of office of 02 members of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from Teachers’ Constituencies and 02 members of the Telangana Legislative Council from Graduates’ Constituencies is expiring on 29thMarch, 2021due to the retirement of the sitting members as detailed below: -
    Andhra Pradesh 
    Sl. No.
    Name of  Constituency
    Name of the Member
    Date of retirement
    1 East-West Godavari Teachers’
    Ramu Surya Rao (R.S.R. Master)
     
    29.03.2021
    2                    
    Krishna-Guntur Teachers’
    A. S. Ramakrishna
    Telangana 
    1  
    Mahabubnagar-Ranga Reddy-Hyderabad Graduates’
    Ramachandra Rao N
     
    29.03.2021
    2
    Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda
    Graduates’
    Dr. Palla Rajeshwar Reddy
    2.      The Commission has now decided that above mentioned biennial election to the Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Council from Teachers’ Constituencies and Telangana State Legislative Council from Graduates’ Constituencies, be held in accordance with the following programme: -
    Issue of Notification
    16th February, 2021 (Tuesday)
    Last date of making nominations
    23rd February, 2021 (Tuesday)
    Scrutiny of nominations
    24th February, 2021 (Wednesday)
    Last date for withdrawal of candidature
    26th February, 2021 (Friday)
    Date of Poll
    14thMarch, 2021 (Sunday)
    Hours of Poll
    08:00 am to 04:00 pm
    Counting of votes
    17th March, 2021 (Wednesday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    22ndMarch, 2021 (Monday)
    3.         The Model Code of Conduct concerning these elections will come into force with immediate effect in the concerned Constituencies. Please see the details on Commission’s website under the link: https://eci.gov.in/files/file/4070-biennial-bye-elections-to-the-legislative-councils-from-council-constituencies-by-graduates%E2%80%99-and-teachers%E2%80%99-and-local-authorities%E2%80%99-constituencies-%E2%80%93-mcc-instructions-%E2%80%93-regarding/
    4.         Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election processes for all persons: -
    Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes: (a) Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out: (b) Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs. As far as practicable, large halls shall be identified and utilized to ensure social distancing norms. Adequate number of vehicles shall be mobilized for movement of polling personnel, security personnel to ensure compliance of COVID-19 guidelines. 5.         For broad guidelines to be followed strictly in conduct of election during COVID-19, please refer to the guidelines available on Commission’s website under link:- https://eci.gov.in/files/file/12167-broad-guidelines-for-conduct-of-general-electionbye-election-during-covid-19/.
     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    8 Date before which election shall be completed
    03rd March, 2021 (Wednesday)
     
    3.  Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes: Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out: Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs. 4. The Chief Secretary, Gujarat is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the said bye elections.
    5.  Further, the Commission has also appointed the Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat as Observer for the said elections.          
     

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  7. 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.

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

    No. ECI/PN/03/2021
    Dated: 06th January, 2021
                                                                  
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub:- Biennial Election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of  Legislative Assembly (MLAs) –  reg.
    The term of 12 members of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council elected by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) is expiring on 30.01.2021. Details are given as under: -
     
    S. No
    Name of Member
    Date of Retirement
     
    1.       
    Dr. Dinesh Sharma
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    30.01.2021
     
     
     
    2.       
    Ahmad Hasan
    3.       
    Ashu Malik
    4.       
    Dharm Veer Singh Ashok
    5.       
    Nasimuddin Siddiqui
    (Vacant due to disqualification w.e.f 22.02.2018 vide order dated 21.07.2020 issued by The Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council)
    6.       
    Pradeep Kumar Jatav
    7.       
    Ramesh Yadav
    8.       
    Ramjatan
    9.       
    Laxman Prasad Acharya
            10.
    Virendra Singh
      11.
    Swatantra Dev
    12.
    Sahab Singh Saini
     2. The Commission has decided to conduct above mentioned biennial election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council by members of Legislative Assembly in accordance with the following programme:-
     
    S. No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.       
    Issue of Notification
    11th January, 2021 (Monday)
    2.       
    Last Date of making nominations
    18th January, 2021 (Monday)
    3.       
    Scrutiny of nominations
    19th January, 2021  (Tuesday)
    4.       
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    21st January, 2021 (Thursday)
    5.       
    Date of Poll
    28th January, 2021 (Thursday)
    6.       
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.       
    Counting of Votes
    28th January, 2021 (Thursday) at 05:00 pm
    8.       
    Date before which election shall be completed
    29th January, 2021 (Friday)
     3.  Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes: Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs. 4. The Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the election.  

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  9. 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.

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  10. 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. 

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  11. PRESS NOTE

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

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  12. 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.

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  13. 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.

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  14. 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. 
     

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  15. ECI decides to defer bye-elections of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies in various States/UT in view of Pandemic-Regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/64/2021                                                    
    Dated: 5th May 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: ECI decides to defer bye-elections of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies in various States/UT in view of Pandemic- Regarding.
    There are notified three vacancies in Parliamentary Constituencies namely Dadra & Nagar Haveli, 28-Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh) & 2-Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) and eight vacancies in Assembly Constituencies namely 01-Kalka and 46-Ellenabad in Haryana, 155-Vallabhnagar in Rajasthan, 33-Sindgi in Karnataka, 47-Rajabala and 13-Mawryngkneng (ST) in Meghalaya, 08-Fatehpur in Himachal Pradesh and 124-Badvel (SC) in Andhra Pradesh. There are few more vacancies of seats for which reports and notifications are awaited and being confirmed.
     2. As per the provisions of section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the vacancies are required to be filled, through bye-elections within six months from the date of occurrence of vacancy, provided that the remainder of the term in relation to the vacancy is one year or more.
     3. The Commission has reviewed the matter today and has decided that due to outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country it would not be appropriate to hold bye-elections till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive to hold these bye-elections. 
     4. The Commission will take a decision in the matter at appropriate time in the future after taking inputs from the concerned states and assessing the pandemic situation from mandated authorities like NDMA/SDMA.

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  16. Polling held in 14,480 Polling Stations spread across 43 ACs in Phase VI WB Elections. Voter Turnout (at 5 PM) for Phase VI West Bengal Election 79.09%

    No. ECI/PN/54/2021
    Dated: 22nd April 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Polling held in 14,480 Polling Stations spread across 43 ACs in Phase VI WB Elections

    Voter Turnout (at 5 PM) for Phase VI West Bengal Election 79.09%

    Voters set an example of Covid appropriate behaviour at Polling Booths

    ECI invites attention of all Political Parties to abide by laid down Covid Protocol during 
    Campaigns 

    7466 out of 14,480 polling stations monitored live through webcasting; Drones used to 
    keep watch over vote proceedings

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  17. Bye Election to the Council of States from West Bengal -reg.

    No. ECI/PN/71/2021 
     Dated: 16th July, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:    Bye Election to the Council of States from West Bengal -reg. 
    There is a casual vacancy in the Council of States from West Bengal as per following details: -
    State
    Name of Members
    Reason
    Date of vacancy
    Term Up to
    West Bengal
    Shri Dinesh Trivedi
    Resignation
    12.02.2021
    02.04.2026
     
    2.                  The Commission has decided to hold bye-election to the Council of States from West Bengal to fill up the above-mentioned vacancy in accordance with the following schedule: -
    S. No
    Events
    Dates
    1.
    Issue of Notifications
      22nd  July, 2021 (Thursday)
    2.
    Last date of making nominations
    29th July, 2021 (Thursday)
    3.
    Scrutiny of nominations
    30th July, 2021  (Friday)
    4.
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    02nd August, 2021  (Monday)
    5.
    Date of Poll
    09th August, 2021 (Monday)
    6.
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am-04:00 pm
    7.
    Counting of Votes
    09th August, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.
    Date before which election shall be completed
    10th August, 2021 (Tuesday)
     
    3.           Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    I.            Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity
    II.          At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes:
    (a) Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out:
    (b) Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations
    III.         Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs.
     
    4.           The Chief Secretary, West Bengal is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the said bye election.

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

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

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  19. 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.
     
     
     
     
     
     

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  20. PRESS NOTE

    No. ECI/PN/52/2021
    Dated: April 16th, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    For the ongoing West Bengal Assembly Election-2021, invoking its powers under Article 324, the Commission (1) curtails the timing of campaign upto 7 PM. There shall not be any campaign between 7PM and 10AM on campaign day.
    (2) extends the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours in each of the remaining three phases.
    Commission also directs the political parties/candidates to provide masks, sanitizers, etc. to the participants and account for the cost in expenditure limits. In view of unprecedented public health situation and the imperative of ongoing elections, Commission today extended the silence period upto 72 hours (instead of 48 hours) and restricted the period of campaign upto 7PM (instead of 10PM). These orders have come into effect immediately.
    Commission further directed all the political parties to adhere to the COVID norms/instructions. It has directed:
    Candidates and Political Parties shall ensure absolute, repeat absolute, adherence to Covid guidelines in letter and sprit. Violations, if any, shall be sternly dealt with and action, including criminal action, taken as per extant legal framework. It shall be the responsibility of the organisers of public meetings, rallies, etc. to provide masks and sanitisers to every person attending these meetings, rallies, etc at their cost which shall be added and counted within limits of prescribed expenditure. Organisers shall also ensure proper usage of masks, sanitisers and also be responsible for maintaining minimum social distance by everyone. Star campaigners/political leaders/candidates/aspiring policy makers shall demonstrate by their personal example and nudge all supporters in the beginning of the rally, meeting and any other event during campaign to wear mask, use sanitisers and maintain social distance and put in place such crowd control measures as are necessary for observance of extant guidelines. District Election Officers and Returning Officers shall take strict measures to enforce Covid guidelines during campaign. They shall cancel public meetings, rallies, etc. if any violations are observed, in addition to invoking penal sections. Special Observers and General, Police and Expenditure Observers shall strictly monitor compliance of covid norms during campaign. The Commission has directed that Chief Secretary, West Bengal, CEO, West Bengal, all DEOs and ROs of the remaining three phases shall ensure strict compliance of this order and enforcement of extant guidelines. Special observers and other district/ constituency (ies) level observers shall regularly monitor compliance.
    The copies of the Order, dated 16.04.2021 issued under Art 324 of the Constitution of India as well as the letter, dated 16.04.2021 issued to the Political Parties, are enclosed, which are self explanatory

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  21. 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.
     

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  22. Bye Elections to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/02/2021
    Dated: 06th January, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub:-  Bye Elections to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg. 
    There are two casual vacancies in the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly. The details of the vacancies are as follows: 
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    Sh. Vinod Narain Jha
    By MLAs
    Elected to Bihar Legislative Assembly on 11.11.2020
    21.07.2022
    Sh. Sushil Kumar Modi
    By MLAs
    Resignation on 09.12.2020
    06.05.2024
    2. The Commission has decided to hold two separate bye-elections to the Bihar Legislative Council by the members of the Legislative Assembly to fill the above mentioned vacancies as per the following common schedule: - 
    S. No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.       
    Issue of Notifications
    11th January, 2021 (Monday)
    2.       
    Last Date of making nominations
    18th January, 2021 (Monday)
    3.       
    Scrutiny of nominations
    19th January, 2021  (Tuesday)
    4.       
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    21st January, 2021 (Thursday)
    5.       
    Date of Poll
    28th January, 2021 (Thursday)
    6.       
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.       
    Counting of Votes
    28th January, 2021 (Thursday) at 05:00 pm
    8.       
    Date before which election shall be completed
    01st February, 2021 (Monday)
    3.  Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes: Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs. 4. The Chief Secretary, Bihar is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the election.

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  23. Peaceful polling held in 11,376 Polling Stations spread across 34 ACs in Phase VII WB Elections. Voter Turnout (at 5 PM) for Phase VII West Bengal Election 75.06%

    No. ECI/PN/56/2021
    Dated: 26th April 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Peaceful polling held in 11,376 Polling Stations spread across 34 ACs in Phase VII WB Elections
    Voter Turnout (at 5 PM) for Phase VII West Bengal Election 75.06%
    Voters scrupulously follow Covid appropriate behaviour at Polling Booths
    ECI reiterates instructions to District authorities to take action under extant rules against Covid protocol violators
    5982 out of 11376 polling stations monitored live through webcasting;
    Timely seizure of bombs and arms ensures secure and peaceful elections

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  24. Bye Election to the Council of States -Deferment of election – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/67/2021 
    Dated: 28th May 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE 
    Bye Election to the Council of States -Deferment of election – reg. 
    There is one casual vacancy in the Council of States as per the details below:
    Name of State
    Name of the member
    Cause of vacancy
    Date of Vacancy
    Term upto
    Kerala
    Shri Jose K. Mani
    Resignation
    11.01.2021
    01.07.2024
    2.  As per the provisions of Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the vacancy are required to be filled, through bye election within six months from date of occurrence of vacancy, provided that remainder of the term in relation to the vacancy is one year or more. 
    3.   The Commission has reviewed the matter today and has decided that due to outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, it would not be appropriate to hold the said bye election till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive to hold above mentioned bye-election. 
    4.  The Commission will take a decision in the matter at appropriate time in the future after taking inputs from the concerned states and assessing the pandemic situation from mandated authorities like NDMA/SDMA.

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  25. Central Police Forces are sent in Advance for Area Domination in concerned Poll Going States/UTs as a Standard Practice: ECI

    No. ECI/PN/14/2021                                          
    Dated: 22nd February 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Central Police Forces are sent in Advance for Area Domination in concerned Poll Going States/UTs as a Standard Practice: ECI
     It has come to the notice of ECI that certain sections of media (e.g. Indian Express 22/2/2021, Hindustan Times 20/2/2021 etc. )have reported on Central Police Forces being sent specifically to State of West Bengal. 
    ECI would however like to state the following: 
    Central Police Forces (CPFs) are routinely sent to all the states and UTs where Lok Sabha/ Vidhan Sabha elections are to take place for advance area domination, especially in the critical and vulnerable sectors which are identified by meticulous advance reviews and concrete feedback from various sources including political parties and entities. This practice is going on some times in 1980s. 
    During Lok Sabha elections 2019, Central forces were sent to all states and UTs and the same has been done in all state elections which have been taking place. In the instant case also the CPFs have been sent to all the four states namely Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and one UT of Puducherry, where Assembly Elections are to take place. It may be of interest for the Media to know that these orders for CPF deployment were issued to the Chief Secretaries, the DGPs and the Chief Electoral Officers of all these five States/UT on the same day, i.e. 16 February 2021.

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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.

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