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

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

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

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

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Huge push by ECI to curb menace of money power during ongoing elections in States of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry

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

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  7. 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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  8. Meeting of Union Home Secretary with Election Commission

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

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  9. Nation celebrates 11th National Voters’ Day

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

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  10. Peaceful Polling concludes across 11,860 Polling Stations ins 35 ACs in last Phase of WB Elections - Repolling in Amtali Madhyamik Siksha Kendra polling station in 5- Sitalkuchi (SC)Assembly Constituency was also conducted today

    No. ECI/PN/58/2021
    Dated: April 29, 2021
    PRESS NOTE
    Peaceful Polling concludes across 11,860 Polling Stations in 35 ACs in last Phase of WB Elections - Repolling in Amtali Madhyamik Siksha Kendra polling station in 5- Sitalkuchi (SC)Assembly Constituency was also conducted today
    Strict preventive measures and Timely seizures of bombs and arms ensures violence free, peaceful elections
    Voters abide by Covid protocols at Polling Booths
    Voter Turnout (at 5 PM) for Phase VIII West Bengal Election 76.07 %
    ECI gives detailed instructions to District authorities to take action under extant rules against Covid protocol violators as also for steps to be followed for Counting arrangements

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  11. 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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  12. POLL GONE STATES/UT GEAR UP FOR FOOLPROOF COUNTING WHILE HONOURING COVID PROTOCOL ARRANGEMENTS

    POLL GONE STATES/UT GEAR UP FOR FOOLPROOF COUNTING WHILE HONOURING COVID PROTOCOL ARRANGEMENTS

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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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
     

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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  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. 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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  22. PRESS NOTE

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

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  23. PRESS NOTE

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

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  24. 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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  25. 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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