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  1. 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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  2. PRESS RELEASE

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

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

    No. ECI/PN/12/2021
    Dated: 18th February, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub:- Bye Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.
      There is one casual vacancy in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly. The details of the vacancy are as follows:
     
    Name of Member
    Nature of election
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    Challa Ramakrishna Reddy
    By MLAs
    Death
    on 01.01.2021
    29.03.2023
     
    2.            The Commission has decided to hold a bye-election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of the Legislative Assembly to fill the above mentioned vacancy as per the following schedule: -
     
    S. No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.        
    Issue of Notification
    25th February, 2021 (Thursday)
    2.        
    Last Date of making nominations
    04th March, 2021 (Thursday)
    3.        
    Scrutiny of nominations
    05th March, 2021  (Friday)
    4.        
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    08th March, 2021  (Monday)
    5.        
    Date of Poll
    15th March, 2021  (Monday)
    6.        
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.        
    Counting of Votes
    15th March, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.        
    Date before which election shall be completed
    18th March, 2021 (Thursday)
                                                                                                   
    3.            Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    I.             Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity
    II.            At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes:
    (a) Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out
    (b) Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations
    III.          Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs.
    4.            The Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the election.
     

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  4. ECI organizes briefing meeting of General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the Assembly Elections in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

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

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

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

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  6. 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...

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  7. 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.
     

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

    No. ECI/PN/11/2021
    Dated: 18th February, 2021
                                                                  
    PRESS NOTE
     Sub:- Biennial Election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the members of  Legislative Assembly (MLAs) –  reg.
    The term of 05 members of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council elected by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) is expiring on 29.03.2021. Details are given as under: -
     
    S. No
    Name of Member
    Date of Retirement
     
    1.       
    Gundumala Thippe Swamy
     
     
     
    29.03.2021
     
     
     
    2.       
    Gummidi Sandhya Rani
    3.       
    Vattikuti Veera Venkanna Chowdary
    4.       
    Shaik Mohammed Iqbal
    5.       
    Subhaschandra Bose Pilli
    (Vacant w.e.f 01.07.2020 due to resignation of the sitting member)
     
    2.         The Commission has decided to conduct above mentioned biennial election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by members of Legislative Assembly in accordance with the following programme:-
     
    S. No.
    Events
    Dates
    1.       
    Issue of Notification
    25th February, 2021 (Thursday)
    2.       
    Last Date of making nominations
    04th March, 2021 (Thursday)
    3.       
    Scrutiny of nominations
    05th March, 2021  (Friday)
    4.       
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    08th March, 2021  (Monday)
    5.       
    Date of Poll
    15th March, 2021  (Monday)
    6.       
    Hours of Poll
    09:00 am to 04:00 pm
    7.       
    Counting of Votes
    15th March, 2021 (Monday) at 05:00 pm
    8.       
    Date before which election shall be completed
    18th March, 2021 (Thursday)
     
    3.         Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    I.          Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity
    II.         At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes:
    (a) Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out
    (b) Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations
    III.        Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs.
    4.         The Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the election.
     

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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. Registration of political parties under section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951- Public Notice Period- regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/20/2021                                                 
    Dated: 2nd March 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Registration of political parties under section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951- Public Notice Period- regarding.
    Registration of political parties is governed by the provisions of section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. A party seeking registration under the said section with the Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the Commission in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Constitution of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.  As per existing guidelines, the applicant association is, inter-alia, asked to publish proposed Name of party in two national daily news papers and two local daily newspapers, on two days for submitting objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party before the Commission within 30 days from such publication. Notice so published is also displayed on the website of the Commission. 
    2. The Commission has announced the General Elections for the Legislative Assemblies of West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry on 26.02.2021. It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that in view of prevailing restrictions on account of Covid-19, there was dislocation and delay in moving applications for registration, which in turn led to delay in registration as a political Party. Therefore, after considering all aspects of the matter, the Commission has given a relaxation and has reduced the notice period from 30 days to 7 days for the parties who have published their public notice on or before 26.02.2021. For all parties, including of those parties which have already published the public Notice in less than 7 days prior to 26.02.2021, objection, if any, can be submitted latest by 05.30 P.M on 02.03.2021 or by the end of the originally provided 30 days period, whichever is earlier.
    3. This relaxation will remain in force till 19.03.2021 the last date of nomination for the General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry and 07.04.2021 for West Bengal (the last date of nomination for the General to the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal).

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  12. 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. 

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  13. 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/

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  14. 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.

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  15. PRESS RELEASE

    No. DC/PN/02/2021                                                  
    Dated: 30th June, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Today, Delimitation Commission under the Chairpersonship of   Justice (Retd.) Mrs. Ranjana Prakash Desai, in the presence of Shri Sushil Chandra, Chief Election Commissioner has decided to visit the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir from 6th July, 2021 (Tuesday) to 9th July, 2021 (Friday). During this period, the Commission will interact with political parties, public representatives and Union Territory administration officials including District Election Officers/ Deputy Commissioners of 20 districts of the Union Territory to gather first hand information and input concerning the on-going process of delimitation as mandated under the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.
    The Delimitation Commission was constituted in March 2020 and its term was extended by another year in March 2021 in view of the on-going pandemic. Third Member of the Commission is the State Election Commissioner of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The Commission also has five Associate Members nominated by the Speaker, Lok Sabha. The Commission already had series of meetings related to data/ map of the Districts/ Constituencies related to census 2011. Earlier, it invited all Associate Members for interaction, which were participated by two of the Associate Members. A number of representations has also been received on various aspects concerning delimitation from civil societies and members of public from the Union Territory. The Commission has already taken note of all such suggestions and directed that these may be deliberated further in the context of ground realities concerning delimitation. 
    The Commission expects that all stakeholders will cooperate in this endeavour and will provide valuable suggestions so that the task of delimitation is completed timely.

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  16. Matter of Recounting in Nandigram AC: RO is the Final Authority under Law 

    No. ECI/PN/62/2021
    Dated: 4th May, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Matter of Recounting in Nandigram AC: RO is the Final Authority under Law
    Certain sections of media have reported about the matter of recounting in Nandigram AC. Returning Officer (RO) of an Assembly Constituency performs statutory functions under the RP Act, 1951in quasi-judicial capacity independently. Whether it is nomination, polling or counting, the RO acts strictly in accordance with the extant electoral laws, instructions and guidelines of the ECI.
    2.  As far as the media reporting on ‘recount’ concerning Nandigram AC is concerned, as per Rule 63 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, which lays down the process of dealing with recount request,it,inter alia, states,
    On such an application being made the returning officer shall decide the matter and may allow the application in whole or in part or may reject it in toto if it appears to him to be frivolous or unreasonable.
    In the light of the above, the RO takes a decision which can only be challenged through Election Petition under section 80 of the RP Act, 1951, which provides that,
    No election shall be called in question except by an election petition presented in accordance with the provisions of this Part. 
    3.  After the counting in Nandigram AC, the election agent of a particular candidate requested for recount, which was rejected by the RO, through a speaking order, on the basis of material facts available before him in accordance with the provisions of Rule 63, as above, and declared the result. In such a case, only legal remedy is to file an EP before the High Court.   
    4. CEO West Bengal, in this matter of Nandigram AC, has made available a copy of the Order of the RO and other relevant material related to counting. General Observer for the AC has also furnished a report in the matter. From the available material before the Commission, following facts reveal in respect of counting held on 2 May, 2021 in Nandigram AC: 
    I. Each counting table had one micro observer.  Their reports never indicated any impurity of counting process on their respective table. 
    II. The RO caused the entries of votes polled by each candidate after each round to be written on the display board which could be easily seen by the counting agents. No doubt was raised on the result of round-wise counting. This enabled the RO to proceed uninterruptedly with the counting of votes.
     III. On the basis of Form-17C duly completed by the counting supervisors, Returning Officer prepared a round-wise statement.  In addition, on the computer installed in the Counting Hall, parallel tabulation work was also done in an Excel sheet to counter check any human error.
     IV. A copy of each of the rounds’ results was shared with all the counting agents.
     V.  After every round, counting agents signed the result sheets.
     5.   Election related Officers on ground perform in extremely competitive political environment diligently with full transparency and fairness and therefore attribution of any motive in such cases is not desirable.
    6.  On the basis of media reports on undue pressure on the RO Nandigram, Commission directed the Chief Secretary West Bengal on 3 May 2021 to provide adequate security, which State Government has now provided.
    7. The Commission has further directed CEO West Bengal to ensure the safe custody of all election records including polled EVM/VVPAT, videorecording, statutory papers, counting records etc. strictly in accordance with laid down guidelines/instructions of the Commission. He will also coordinate with the State Government for additional security measures at such locations, if required.

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  17. ECI push for wide ranging Reforms

    No. ECI/PN/66/2021 
    Dated: 13th May 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE 
    ECI push for wide ranging Reforms
     Election Commission of India in furtherance for continuing reforms process has decided to set up a Core Committee headed by Secretary General, ECI to identify learning, experiences, shortcomings from recently Poll-gone States of Assam, Bihar, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and UT of Puducherry.
     The committee is broadly tasked to identify: 
    1.   Shortcomings /gaps in ECI regulatory regime, if any and the gaps in implementation and enforcement at the level of CEOs/ District officials.
    2.   Need for Strengthening legal/ regulatory framework enabling  ECI to more effectively ensure compliance of guidelines / directions including the Covid norms;
    3.   Measures to ensure discharge of responsibility, like enforcement of covid protocol by the agencies/ authorities mandated under respective regulatory/ legal regime to do so irrespective of and in addition to ECI guidelines;
    4.   Gaps, if any in the guidelines or at implementation level in MCC / regulatory regime leading to avoidance/ non-compliance by the Candidates/ Political parties’ stakeholders; 
    5.   Measures to further strengthen the expenditure management regulation for inducement free election;  
    6.   Shortcomings in existing framework in providing protection to electoral machinery from possibility of reprisal after elections;  
    7.   Measures required for strengthening the offices of electoral machinery at the State level namely the offices of CEOs, DEOs and ROs; 
    8.   Issues related to Electoral Roll, Voter List and delivery of EPICs; 
    9.   Gaps in Communication strategy, if any.
     The Committee has also been asked to collate, analyse experiences, best practices across States/UT and suggest way forward and further reforms required.
     DECs of the ECI and CEOs of recent poll gone States and few select Special Observers and Observers will be members of the Committee.  While finalising its recommendations, the Committee will also take inputs from State Nodal Officers of different divisions like Police, Expenditure, Health authorities as well as from some DEOs, SPs & ROs identified by CEOs, Polling officials, BLOs about the issues and challenges faced at the grass root levels.
     The Committee will also examine the recommendations of the nine Working Groups (which were set up post Lok Sabha Elections, 2019) in light of experiences in the Poll gone States. The Commission had formed Nine working groups of CEOs and Commission Officers covering various  facets of election process including Electoral Roll issues, Polling Stations management, MCC, Voting processes & Materials inventory, Capacity Building, IT applications, Expenditure Management, SVEEP and Media interface as also Electoral Reforms.
     Recommendations of the Core Committee will help the Commission to chalk out way forward for forthcoming polls in future.  The Core Committee has been asked to submit its report within a month.

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  18. 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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  19. 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 
     

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  20. 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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  21. Arrangements for the dissemination of trends and results for General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Puducherry & Bye-Elections to PC/AC of various States, 2021 on 2nd May 2021.

    No. ECI/PN/59/2021 
    Dated: 1st May 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE 
    Subject: Arrangements for the dissemination of trends and results for General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Puducherry & Bye-Elections to PC/AC of  various States, 2021  on 2nd May 2021. 
    The trends and results for General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Puducherry & Bye-Elections of various States, 2021  will be available w.e.f 8 AM on 02.05.2021, from the following places apart from all the counting centres:
                1. https://results.eci.gov.in The results are displayed on this website of the Election Commission of India and are updated every few minutes to display the current round wise trends and results of each constituency .
                2. The trends and results are also accessible through the “Voter helpline” Mobile App available at Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
    The website / mobile app will display information filled in the system by the Returning Officers from the respective Counting Centers. The EC will be displaying the information as being filled in the systems by the Returning Officers from their respective Counting Centers. The final data for each PC/AC will be shared in Form 20 only.

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  22. Shri Anup Chandra Pandey takes over as new Election Commissioner

    No. ECI/PN/68/2021
    Dated: 9th June, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Shri Anup Chandra Pandey takes over as new Election Commissioner
    Shri Anup Chandra Pandey today assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India. Shri Pandey joins the Election Commission of India as second Election Commissioner in a three- member body headed by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar.

    Born on 15th February 1959, Shri Anup Chandra Pandey has been a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service Officer. During the span of about 37 years of distinguished Government of India service, Shri Pandey has worked in various Ministries & Departments at the Centre and his state cadre of Uttar Pradesh.
    Shri Anup Chandra Pandey, a career bureaucrat holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College and a Master’s degree in Materials Management from Panjab University. Shri Anup Chandra who has a keen interest in study of history holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Ancient Indian History from Magadh University.
    Shri Pandey, superannuated as Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh in August 2019. Prior to joining the Election Commission of India, Shri Pandey served as a Member National Green Tribunal Oversight Committee, Uttar Pradesh.
    Under his administrative leadership as Chief Secretary, the state successfully organized the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj and Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas at Varanasi in 2019.
    Earlier, Shri Anup Chandra served as Industrial Development Commissioner of the state and successfully organized a mega Investor’s Summit at Lucknow in 2018. He also introduced various policy reforms in the industries and business sector including single window NiveshMitra Portal.
    As Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), Government of Uttar Pradesh. Shri Pandey’s endeavours led to successful designing, planning and implementation of Uttar Pradesh Farm Loan Waiver Scheme.
    Shri Pandey has held diverse portfolios during his deputation with the central government.  He served as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour &Employment, Government of India where he represented the country at various international forums like G20 and International Labour Organization. He was also Director in Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Department of Consumer Affairs.
    Shri Pandey has a keen interest in writing and has authored a book titled “Governance in Ancient India” which explores the evolution, nature, scope, functions and all related aspects of ancient Indian Civil Service from the Rig Vedic period to 650 AD.

    (Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sushil Chandra, and Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar, formally welcoming Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey)

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  23. 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

  24. Polling in 15,789 Polling Stations spread across 45 Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal Phase V Elections, Bye-Election in 2 Parliamentary Constituencies and 12 Assembly Constituencies across 10 States conducted peacefully today

    No. ECI/PN/53/2021
    Dated: April 17th, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Polling in 15,789 Polling Stations spread across 45 Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal Phase V Elections, Bye-Election in 2 Parliamentary Constituencies and 12 Assembly Constituencies across 10 States conducted peacefully today;
    Huge Turnout of Women Voters; Voter Turnout (at 5 PM) for Phase V West Bengal Election 78.36%
    ECI thanks voters for strictly following COVID protocols
    Polling in 56-Samserganj and 58-Jangipur Assembly Constituency at West Bengal and 110-Pipili Bye-Election Assembly Constituency at Odisha stands adjourned
    8266 out of 15789 polling stations monitored live through webcasting
    Candidate in Noksen (ST) Bye-Election Assembly Constituency, Nagaland elected unopposed
     

    186 downloads

    Submitted

  25. 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

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. 

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