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

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

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Biennial Election to the Council of States from Kerala to fill the seats of members retiring on 21.04.2021-reg.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    8 Date before which election shall be completed
    16th April, 2021 (Friday)
     
    3. Broad Guidelines to be followed during entire election process for all persons: -
    Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes: Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out: Sanitizer shall be made available at all locations Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant COVID-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs. 4. The Chief Secretary, Kerala is being directed to depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the said biennial election.
    5. Further, the Commission has also appointed the Chief Electoral Officer, Kerala as Observer for the election.

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  7. Schedule for Bye-Elections in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies of Various States - reg.

    No. ECI/PN/ 28 /2021
    Dated: 16th March, 2021
     PRESS NOTE
    Subject:  Schedule for Bye-elections in Parliamentary/ Assembly Constituencies of various States – reg.
     The Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to fill vacancies in Two (2) Parliamentary Constituencies of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and Fourteen (14) vacancies in Assembly Constituencies of various States as per details given below: 
    Sl. No.
    State
    Constituency No. & Name 
    1.    
    Andhra Pradesh
    23-Tirupati (SC)
    2.    
    Karnataka
    2-Belgaum
     
    Sl. No.
    State
    Constituency No. & Name
     
    1.    
    Gujarat
    125– Morva Hadaf (ST)
    2.    
    Jharkhand
    13-Madhupur
    3.    
    Karnataka
    47-Basavakalyan
    4.    
    Karnataka
    59–Maski (ST)
    5.    
    Madhya Pradesh
    55-Damoh
    6.    
    Maharashtra
    252-Pandharpur
    7.    
    Mizoram
    26-Serchhip (ST)
    8.    
    Nagaland
    51-Noksen (ST)
    9.    
    Odisha
    110-Pipili
    10.      
    Rajasthan
    179- Sahara
    11.      
    Rajasthan
    24-Sujangarh (SC)
    12.      
    Rajasthan
    175-Rajsamand
    13.      
    Telangana
    87-Nagarjuna Sagar
    14.      
    Uttarakhand
    49-Salt

    After taking into consideration various factors like local festivals, electoral rolls, weather conditions, movement of forces, pandemic etc., the Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to fill these vacancies as per the programme mentioned as under:
    Poll Events
    Date and Day
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    23.03.2021 (Tuesday)
    Last Date of Nominations
    30.03.2021 (Tuesday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    31.03.2021 (Wednesday)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    03.04.2021 (Saturday)
    Date of Poll
    17.04.2021 (Saturday)
    Date of Counting
    02.05.2021 (Sunday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    04.05.2021 (Tuesday)
    1.   ELECTORAL ROLL
    The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2021 as the qualifying date has been finally published. 
    2.   ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES (EVMs) and VVPATs
             The Commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in these bye-election in all polling stations. Adequate numbers of EVMs and VVPATs have been made available and all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly with the help of these machines. 
    3.   IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
             In continuance to the existing practice, the voter's identification shall be mandatory in the aforementioned election at the time of poll. Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter. However, in order to ensure that no voter is deprived of his/her franchise, if his/her name figures in the electoral rolls, following alternate identity documents are also prescribed:
      Aadhar Card,   MNREGA Job Card,  Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office,  Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour,  Driving License,  PAN Card,  Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, Indian Passport, Pension document with photograph,  Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, and  Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs.  4.   MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
             Model code of conduct shall come into force with immediate effect in the district(s) in which the whole or any part of the Parliamentary/Assembly constituency going for election is included, subject to partial modification as issued vide Commission’ s instruction No. 437/6/1NST/2016-CCS, dated 29th June, 2017 (available on the commission's website https://eci.gov.in/) (copy enclosed). The Model code of conduct shall be applicable to all candidates, political parties and the State government concerned. The Model Code of Conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government also.        
    5.   VOTER INFORMATION SLIPS (VIS)
    To facilitate the voter to know the serial number of electoral roll of his/her polling station, date of poll, time etc., the Commission vide letter dated 26.02.2021, has decided to issue ‘Voter Information Slip’ to the voters in place of Photo Voter Slip. Voter Information Slip will include information like Polling Station, Date, Time etc. but not the photograph of the voter. Voter Information Slip will be distributed at least 5 days before the date of poll to all enrolled electors, by the District Election Officer. However, Voter Information Slip will not be allowed as proof of identity of voters. It may be recalled that the Commission had discontinued Photo Voter Slips as an identity proof with effect from 28th February, 2019.     
    6.   BROAD GUIDELINES TO BE FOLLOWED DURING THE CONDUCT OF BYE-ELECTIONS DURING COVID-19
    In view of spread of COVID-19, the Commission on 21st August, 2020, issued broad guidelines, which is to be followed strictly during the conduct of elections, which is available on Commission’s website. 
    All instructions issued during General Election to Legislative Assemblies of Bihar, 2020 and General Elections to Legislative Assemblies of 5 States/UT shall also be mutatis mutandis applicable to the aforementioned bye-elections.

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  8. 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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  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. 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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  11. ECI Statement

    No. ECI/PN/24/2021
    Dated: 5th March 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI Statement
    A section of media has cited today i.e. on 5.3.2021  TMC MP’s letter to CEO West Bengal demanding removal of Deputy Election Commissioner incharge of West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021 at ECI.  The following is brought to your kind notice:-
     The complaint in question was apparently given to CEO, West Bengal, who has sent a copy to ECI headquarters.  The Commission would like to categorically state that all our Deputy Election Commissioners and other officials posted in the ECI headquarters and/or working in the field are discharging their duties strictly as per Constitution of India and the various extant rules regarding the conduct of elections.  There could be an odd exception here or there in which case EC takes corrective action immediately.  In the immediate case, the Commission has full faith in the integrity and fairness of Shri Sudeep Jain, DEC. Unfortunately, it is not for the first time that a concerted campaign is mounted against senior officers of the Commission on the eve of/during the process of elections.
       In aforementioned news items mention has been made of allegations cited by TMC about two decisions taken by Shri Jain during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when also he was Deputy Election Commissioner incharge at ECI of West Bengal Elections. It is clarified that both these decisions were taken by the Commission in the interest of holding free fair and peaceful elections and implemented by the district election machinery under supervision of DEC, Chief Electoral Officer, Police Nodal Officer and other concerned senior officials.  Since, this issue is being raised by other sections of media by queries on WhatsApp/SMS messages etc., a copy of the statement is being put on the website of ECI (eci.gov.in) 

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

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

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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancy in the Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala and Tamil Nadu – Regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/ 17/2021
    Dated:  26th February, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE 
    Subject:  Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancy in the Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala and Tamil Nadu – Regarding. 
    The Commission has decided to hold bye-election to fill vacancies in   6-Malappuram PC of Kerala and 39-Kanniyakumari PC of Tamil Nadu.
    After taking into consideration various factors like local festivals, electoral rolls, weather conditions, movement of forces, pandemic etc., the Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to fill these vacancies as per the programme mentioned as under:  
    Poll Events
    Date and Day
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    12.03.2021
    (Friday)
    Last Date of Nominations
    19.03.2021
    (Friday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    20.03.2021
    (Saturday)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    22.03.2021
    (Monday)
    Date of Poll
    06.04.2021
    (Tuesday)
    Date of Counting
    02.05.2021
    (Sunday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    04.05.2021
    (Tuesday)
    1.   ELECTORAL ROLL
             The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2021 as the qualifying date has been finally published. 
    2.   ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES (EVMs) and VVPATs
             The Commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in the bye-election in all the polling stations. Adequate numbers of EVMs and VVPATs have been made available and all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly with the help of these machines.
    3.   IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
             In consonance with the past practice, the Commission has decided that the voter's identification shall be mandatory in the aforementioned election at the time of poll. Electoral Photo Identity cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter. However, in order to ensure that no voter is deprived of his/her franchise, if his/her name figures in the electoral rolls, separate instructions will be issued to allow additional documents for identification of voters at the time of poll in the said election. 
    4.   MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
             The Model code of conduct shall come into force with immediate effect in the district(s) in which the whole or any part of the Assembly constituency going for election is included, subject to partial modification as issued vide Commission’ s instruction No. 437/6/1NST/2016-CCS, dated 29th June, 2017 (available on the commission's website). The Model code of conduct shall be applicable to all candidates, political parties and the state Government concerned. The Model code of conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government for the district of the State concerned.
             All the instructions issued for General Elections to Legislative Assembly of Bihar, 2020 shall also be applicable to the aforementioned Bye-elections. 
    5.   BROAD GUIDELINES TO BE FOLLOWED DURING THE CONDUCT OF BYE-ELECTIONS DURING COVID-19
             In view of spread of COVID-19, the Commission on 21st August, 2020 has issued broad guidelines, which is to be followed strictly during the conduct of election, which is available on Commission’s website.  The Commission’s all instructions relating to conduct of General Election in Kerala and Tamil Nadu during the COVID-19 period shall also be mutatis mutandis applicable for all bye-elections.

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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. DELIMITATION COMMISSION HOLDS MEETING TO SEEK VIEWS ON DELIMITATION PROCESS OF UT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR.

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

    260 downloads

    Submitted

  23. Bye Election to the Karnataka Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/13/2021
    Dated: 18th February, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub:- Bye Election to the Karnataka Legislative Council by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.
    There is one casual vacancy in the Karnataka 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
    S. L. Dharmegowda
    By MLAs
    Death on 28.12.2020
    17.06.2024
     
    2.            The Commission has decided to hold a bye-election to the Karnataka 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, Karnataka 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.
     

    124 downloads

    Submitted

  24. 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.
     

    108 downloads

    Submitted

  25. 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.
     

    73 downloads

    Submitted

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