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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  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. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. PRESS NOTE- CORRIGENDUM

    No. ECI/PN/95/2021
    Dated: 09th November, 2021
    PRESS NOTE- CORRIGENDUM 
    Subject:    Biennial Elections to 11 sitting members of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from 08 Local Authorities’ Constituencies –reg.
    In the table shown at page no. 1 of the Commission’s Press Note No. ECI/PN/91/2021, dated 09th November, 2021, the entries at Sl. No. 4 and Sl. No. 8 under column ‘Name of Member’ may be read as –
    ‘Annam Satish Prabhakar
    (Vacant w.e.f. 10.07.2019 due to non availability of desired electoral roll)’
          and
    ‘Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy
    (Vacant w.e.f. 14.03.2019 due to non availability of desired electoral roll)’ , respectively

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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. PRESS STATEMENT

    No. ECI/PN/74/2021 
    August 13, 2021
     
    Press statement
    Some media sites are reporting breach of data from ECI site.
    Assistant Electoral Roll Officers (AERO) are mandated to provide citizen- centric services including printing of Voter ID cards and timely distribution in line with the theme of “No voter to be left behind”. Data Entry Operator of one of the  AERO  office  had illegally shared his user id password with a private unauthorized service provider in Saharanpur’s Nakud sub-division to print some  Voter ID cards.
    Both these persons have been arrested. ECI database is absolutely safe and secure.

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

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

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  19. 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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  20. Schedule for Bye-elections in Parliamentary/Assembly Constituencies of various States - reg

    No. ECI/PN/83/2021                                                     
    Dated:28th September, 2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:  Schedule for Bye-elections in Parliamentary/ Assembly Constituencies of various States – reg. 
    The Commission has reviewed the situations related to pandemic, flood, festivals, cold conditions in certain regions, feedback from concerned States/UT and taken into consideration all facts and circumstances and it has decided to hold bye-elections to fill vacancies in three (3) Parliamentary Constituencies of UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and thirty (30) vacancies in Assembly Constituencies of various States as per details given below:
    Sl. No.
    State/UT
    Parliamentary Constituency No. & Name
     
    1.    
    UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu
    Dadra & Nagar Haveli
    2.    
    Madhya Pradesh
    28-Khandwa
    3.    
    Himachal Pradesh
    2-Mandi
     
    Sl. No.
    State
    Constituency No. & Name
     
    1.    
    Andhra Pradesh
    124-Badvel (SC)
    2.    
    Assam
    28-Gossaigaon
    3.    
    Assam
    41-Bhabanipur
    4.    
    Assam
    58-Tamulpur
    5.    
    Assam
    101-Mariani
    6.    
    Assam
    107-Thowra
    7.    
    Bihar
    78-Kusheshwar Asthan (SC)
    8.    
    Bihar
    164-Tarapur
    9.    
    Haryana
    46-Ellenabad
    10.      
    Himachal Pradesh
    08-Fatehpur
    11.      
    Himachal Pradesh
    50-Arki
    12.      
    Himachal Pradesh
    65-Jubbal- Kotkhai
    13.      
    Karnataka
    33-Sindgi
    14.      
    Karnataka
    82-Hangal
    15.      
    Madhya Pradesh
    45-Prithvipur
    16.      
    Madhya Pradesh
    62-Raigaon (SC)
    17.      
    Madhya Pradesh
    192-Jobat (ST)
    18.      
    Maharashtra
    90-Deglur (SC)
    19.      
    Meghalaya
    13-Mawryngkneng (ST)
    20.      
    Meghalaya
    24-Mawphlang (ST)
    21.      
    Meghalaya
    47-Rajabala
    22.      
    Mizoram
    4-Tuirial (ST)
    23.      
    Nagaland
    58-Shamtorr-Chessore (ST)
    24.      
    Rajasthan
    155-Vallabhnagar
    25.      
    Rajasthan
    157-Dhariawad (ST)
    26.      
    Telangana
    31-Huzurabad
    27.      
    West Bengal
    7-Dinhata
    28.      
    West Bengal
    86-Santipur
    29.      
    West Bengal
    109-Khardaha
    30.      
    West Bengal
    127-Gosaba(SC)
    The Commission has decided to hold these bye-elections to fill vacancies and has fixed the dates of poll events as per provisions under Section 30 and date of withdrawal under Section 30(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The schedule of bye election is as follows:
    Schedule 1: For Assembly Constituency of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Telangana and Parliamentary Constituency of  UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh.
    Poll Events
    Schedule 1
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    01.10.2021 (Friday)
    Last Date of Nominations
    08.10.2021 (Friday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    11.10.2021 (Monday)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    13.10.2021 (Wednesday)
    Date of Poll
    30.10.2021 (Saturday)
    Date of Counting
    02.11.2021 (Tuesday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    05.11.2021  (Friday)
     
    Schedule 2: For Assembly Constituency of Assam, Bihar and West Bengal
    Poll Events
    Schedule 2
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    01.10.2021 (Friday)
    Last Date of Nominations
    08.10.2021 (Friday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    11.10.2021  (Monday)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    16.10.2021 (Saturday)
    Date of Poll
    30.10.2021 (Saturday)
    Date of Counting
    02.11.2021 (Tuesday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    05.11.2021  (Friday)
    1.   ELECTORAL ROLL
    The published Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2021 will be used for these elections. 
    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
    Electoral Photo Identity cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter. However, any of the below mentioned identification documents can also be shown at the polling station:
    i.        Aadhar Card,
    ii.        MNREGA Job Card,
    iii.        Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office,
    iv.        Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour,
    v.        Driving License,
    vi.        PAN Card,
    vii.        Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR,
    viii.        Indian Passport,
    ix.        Pension document with photograph,
    x.        Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, and
    xi.        Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs. 
    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). 
    5.        INFORMATION REGARDING CRIMINAL ANTECEDENTS
    The Commission has prescribed timeline for publicity of criminal antecedents during the period starting from the day following the last date of withdrawal and upto 48 hours before ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll.
    The consolidated instructions on this matter is available on the Commission’s website under the following hyperlink https://eci.gov.in/files/file/12265-broad-guidelines-of-election-commission-of-india-on-publicity-of-criminal-antecedents-by-political-parties-candidates/
    This is in furtherance of the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India dated 13.02.2020 and 10.08.2021 in Contempt Petition (C) No. 656 of 2020 titled Brajesh Singh Vs. Sunil Arora & Ors., which has been circulated to political parties vide Commission’s letter dated 26.08.2021. In pursuance of the direction given under Para 73.v of the judgment, now, Format C-7 should be published by the political parties within 48 hours of the selection of the candidate and not prior to two weeks before the first date of filing of nominations.
    The Commission has also prescribed following timeline for publicity of criminal antecedents during the period starting from the day following the last date of withdrawal and upto 48 hours before ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll.
    The consolidated instructions on this matter is available on the Commission’s website under the following hyperlink https://eci.gov.in/files/file/12265-broad-guidelines-of-election-commission-of-india-on-publicity-of-criminal-antecedents-by-political-parties-candidates/ 
    6.    BROAD GUIDELINES TO BE FOLLOWED DURING THE CONDUCT OF BYE-ELECTIONS /ADJOURNED POLL DURING the period of COVID-19
    The Commission has issued broad guidelines on 21st August, 2020. Also, it has issued further guidelines on 09.10.2020, 09.04.2021,16.04.2021, 21.04.2021, 22.04.2021, 23.04.2021 and 28.04.2021 available on Commission’s website eci.gov.in or link https://eci.gov.in/candidate-political-parties/instructions-on-covid-19/.  Also, vide letter No.40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 28th August, 2021, instructions for implementation of targeted and prompt actions for COVID management has been extended by MHA up to 30th September, 2021. After taking inputs from the political parties/Chief Electoral Officers and keeping the extant instructions of MHA/MoHFW in view, the Commission has further strengthened these guidelines. Further, the Commission’s all instructions relating to conduct of General Election in West Bengal during the COVID-19 period shall also be mutatis mutandis applicable for these bye-elections/adjourned poll.
    All stake holders shall abide by these instructions. State Government concerned shall take all appropriate actions/measures in compliance to these instructions as follows.
    1
    Nomination
    During Pre and post nomination procession, public meeting prohibited / Only three vehicles permitted within a periphery of 100 meters of RO's office. No procession for nomination shall be permitted.
    2
    Campaign period
     
    (a) Meeting for
     
       (i) Indoor
    30% of allowed capacity or 200 persons, whichever is less. A register will be maintained to count the number of people attending the meeting.
     
     
       (ii) Outdoor
    With 50% of capacity (as per Covid-19 guidelines) or 1000 in the case of Star Campaigners and 50% of the capacity or 500 in all other cases. In either case, the allowed number is whichever is less. The entire area will be cordoned off and will be guarded by the police. The count of people entering the ground will be monitored. Expenditure for the cordoning/barricading will be borne by the candidate/party. Only those grounds which are cordoned/barricaded completely will be used for rallies.
     
    (b) Star Campaigners
    Number of Star Campaigners restricted to 20 for these bye-elections for National /State recognized parties and 10 for un-recognized registered parties in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
     
    (c) Road show
    No Roadshow shall be allowed and No Motor/Bike/Cycle rallies to be allowed
     
    (d) Street corner meeting
    Maximum 50 persons shall be allowed (Subject to availability of space and compliance to COVID-19 guidelines.)
     
    (e) Door to door campaign
    Door to door campaign with 5 persons including candidates/their representatives.
     
    (f) Campaign through video van
    Not more than 50 audiences shall be allowed in one cluster point subject to availability of space and compliance to covid guidelines.
     
    (g) Use of vehicles for campaign
    Total vehicles allowed for a candidate/political party (excluding Star Campaigner):- 20
    Maximum no. of persons allowed per vehicle 50% of the capacity.
    3
    Silence period
    The silence period is 72 hours before the end of poll.
    4
    Poll day activities
    1. Maximum 2 vehicles with 3 persons each shall be allowed. Security as per the applicable extant guidelines.
    2.  Poll day activity on polling station as per ECI guidelines.
    5
    Counting day
    DEOs to take appropriate measures to prevent crowding. Social distancing and other COVID safety protocols to be strictly adhered to at all the times during counting.
    7.   All such activities will be strictly complied as per the Covid-19 guidelines issued by competent authorities. Social distancing and use of mask, sanitizers, thermal scanning, face shield, hand gloves, etc., as per COVID-19 protocol, have to be complied with. SDMA is responsible for all preventive and mitigation measures to ensure adherence to COVID protocol. Chief Secretary and DG and district level authorities will be responsible for monitoring, supervision and compliance of covid-19 guidelines.  
    8.   If a candidate or political party violates any of the above guidelines, no more permission shall be given to the concerned candidate/party for rallies, meetings etc. If any star campaigner violates the COVID protocols, he shall not be allowed to campaign further in that constituency/district.
    9.   All polling personnel and election officials including the private persons engaged in the election duty shall be double vaccinated before taking their services.
    10. Candidate/election agent/polling agent counting agent/driver etc. whoever is coming in contact with the public or election officials have to be double vaccinated.
    11.     One health worker to be appointed as COVID nodal officer for each Polling Station.
    12.     CS/DG and concerned DMs/SPs shall take enough preventive measures and make necessary arrangements to ensure that no poll related violence occurs during pre and post poll.  
    13.     In the light of advisory issued by the Health Ministry of GoI, ECI will keep a close watch on the evolving situation and may further tighten the guidelines for the upcoming elections.

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  21. 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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  22. Schedule to fill casual vacancy and adjourned poll in the Assembly Constituencies - regarding

    No. ECI/PN/77/202
    Dated:  04.09.2021
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Schedule to fill casual vacancy and adjourned poll in the Assembly Constituencies - regarding
     The Commission vide press note No. ECI/PN/61/2021 dated 3rd May 2021 deferred the adjourned poll (which was scheduled to be held on 16.05.2021) and extended the period of elections in 110-Pipli Assembly Constituency (AC) of Odisha and 58-Jangipur & 56-Samserganj AC of West Bengal after taking note of lockdown/restrictions under Disaster Management Act, 2005, as issued by NDMA/SDMA. Further, the Commission vide press note No. ECI/PN/64/2021 dated 5th May 2021 deferred the bye-elections in various States/UT, after taking all material facts and inputs of Chief Electoral Officers of various States/UT in view of the pandemic.
     2. As on date there are three deferred adjourned polls (two in the state of West Bengal and one in the state of Odisha), three vacancies in Parliamentary Constituencies and 32 vacancies in Legislative Assemblies of various States/UT.
     3.  In order to assess the feasibility of holding bye-elections in various States/UT, a meeting was held through video conferencing on 01.09.2021 with Chief Secretaries, senior officers from the department of Health & Home Affairs, DGPs from the concerned States/UT and Chief Electoral Officers from concerned States/UT. The Chief Secretaries/Chief Electoral Officers shared their inputs, constraints, issues and challenges in conducting bye-elections in their States/UT in view of COVID-l9 pandemic, flood situation and festivals in near future and so on. The Chief Secretaries from the concerned poll going States have also sent their views and inputs in writing.
     4. The Chief Secretaries of States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Adviser of UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, brought to the notice of the Commission the constraints related to flood situations, festivals and pandemic. They suggested that it would be advisable to have bye-elections after the end of festival season.
     5. Besides these, some states have also brought to the notice of the Commission that Government of India, various research institutions, technical expert committees and professionals have predicted the possibility of third wave of COVID-19 October onwards. MHA has also issued detailed instructions on prevention of COVID-19 on August 28, 2021.
     6. The Chief Secretary, Odisha also informed that COVID situation is under control and poll can be held. The Chief Secretary West Bengal informed that COVID-19 situation is fully under control. He also brought to the notice that the flood situation in the state has not affected the poll bound Assembly Constituencies and the State is fully geared up to hold the elections. He also cited that under Article 164(4) of the Constitution of India, a Minister who is not a member of the Legislature of the State for a period of six consecutive months shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister and there will be a constitutional crisis and vacuum in the top executive posts in the Government unless elections are held immediately. He has also informed that in view of administrative exigencies and public interest and to avoid vacuum in the state, bye-elections for 159- Bhabanipur, Kolkata from where Ms. Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister intends to contest elections may be conducted.  
     7. After taking into consideration the inputs and views of the Chief Secretaries of the concerned States and respective Chief Electoral Officers, while the Commission has decided not to hold bye-elections in other 31 Assembly Constituencies and 3 Parliamentary Constituencies and considering the constitutional exigency and special request from State of West Bengal, it has decided to hold bye-election in 159- Bhabanipur AC. Much stricter norms have been kept by the Commission as an abundant caution to safeguard from COVID-19 pandemic. The schedule for the bye-election is attached at Annexure-1.
     8.  Further, the Commission has also decided to hold polls in 3 Assembly Constituencies namely 56-Samserganj, 58- Jangipur of West Bengal and 1 Assembly Constituency 110-Pipli of Odisha where the adjourned poll was deferred vide Commission’s notification 4th May, 2021, as per the schedule given in Annexure- 2. Separate notifications are being issued in this regard.
     The candidates/political parties for these 3 ACs have already availed the campaign period from 29.04.2021 to 03.05.2021. In view of this, the Commission has now decided to allow the campaign from 20.09.2021 only in these constituencies.
     9. ELECTORAL ROLL
    The published Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2021 will be used for these elections.
     10. 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.
     11. IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
    Electoral Photo Identity cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter. However, any of the below mentioned identification documents can also be shown at the polling station:
          i.        Aadhar Card,
        ii.         MNREGA Job Card,
       iii.         Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office,
       iv.        Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour,
        v.         Driving License,
       vi.        PAN Card,
      vii.        Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR,
     viii.        Indian Passport,
       ix.         Pension document with photograph,
        x.        Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, and
       xi.         Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs.
     12.     MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
              The Model code of conduct shall come into force with immediate effect from 04.09.2021 onwards 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).
     13. BROAD GUIDELINES TO BE FOLLOWED DURING THE CONDUCT OF BYE-ELECTIONS /ADJOURNED POLL DURING the period of COVID-19
    The Commission has issued broad guidelines on 21st August, 2020. Also, it has issued further guidelines on 09.10.2020, 09.04.2021,16.04.2021, 21.04.2021, 22.04.2021, 23.04.2021 and 28.04.2021 available on Commission’s website eci.gov.in or link https://eci.gov.in/candidate-political-parties/instructions-on-covid-19/.  Also, vide letter No.40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 28th August, 2021, instructions for implementation of targeted and prompt actions for COVID management has been extended by MHA up to 30th September, 2021. After taking inputs from the political parties/Chief Electoral Officers and keeping the extant instructions of MHA/MoHFW in view, the Commission has further strengthened these guidelines. Further, the Commission’s all instructions relating to conduct of General Election in West Bengal during the COVID-19 period shall also be mutatis mutandis applicable for these bye-elections/adjourned poll.
    All stake holders shall abide by these instructions. State Government concerned shall take all appropriate actions/measures in compliance to these instructions as follows.
    1
    Nomination
    During Pre and post nomination procession, public meeting prohibited / Only three vehicles permitted within a periphery of 100 meters of RO's office. No procession for nomination shall be permitted.
    2
    Campaign period
     
    (a) Meeting for
     
       (i) Indoor
     
    30% of allowed capacity or 200 persons, whichever is less. A register will be maintained to count the number of people attending the meeting.
     
     
     
       (ii) Outdoor
     
    With 50% of capacity (as per Covid-19 guidelines) or 1000 in the case of Star Campaigners and 50% of the capacity or 500 in all other cases. In either case, the allowed number is whichever is less. The entire area will be cordoned off and will be guarded by the police. The count of people entering the ground will be monitored. Expenditure for the cordoning/barricading will be borne by the candidate/party. Only those grounds which are cordoned/barricaded completely will be used for rallies.
     
    (b) Star Campaigners
    Number of Star Campaigners restricted to 20 for these bye-elections for National /State recognized parties and 10 for un-
    recognized registered parties in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
     
    (c) Road show
    No Roadshow shall be allowed and No Motor/Bike/Cycle rallies to be allowed
     
    (d) Street corner meeting
    Maximum 50 persons shall be allowed (Subject to availability of space and compliance to COVID-19 guidelines.)
     
    (e) Door to door campaign
    Door to door campaign with 5 persons including candidates/their representatives.
     
    (f) Campaign through video van
    Not more than 50 audiences shall be allowed in one cluster point subject to availability of space and compliance to covid guidelines.
     
    (g) Use of vehicles for campaign
    Total vehicles allowed for a candidate/political party (excluding Star Campaigner):- 20
    Maximum no. of persons allowed per vehicle 50% of the capacity.
    3
    Silence period
    The silence period is 72 hours before the end of poll. 
    4
    Poll day activities
    1. Maximum 2 vehicles with 3 persons each shall be allowed. Security as per the applicable extant guidelines.
    2.  Poll day activity on polling station as per ECI guidelines.
    5
    Counting day
    DEOs to take appropriate measures to prevent crowding. Social distancing and other COVID safety protocols to be strictly adhered to at all the times during counting.
     6.    All such activities will be strictly complied as per the Covid-19 guidelines issued by competent authorities. Social distancing and use of mask, sanitizers, thermal scanning, face shield, hand gloves, etc., as per COVID-19 protocol, have to be complied with. SDMA is responsible for all preventive and mitigation measures to ensure adherence to COVID protocol. Chief Secretary and DG and district level authorities will be responsible for monitoring, supervision and compliance of covid-19 guidelines.  
    7.    If a candidate or political party violates any of the above guidelines, no more permission shall be given to the concerned candidate/party for rallies, meetings etc. If any star campaigner violates the COVID protocols, he shall not be allowed to campaign further in that constituency/district.
    8.    All polling personnel and election officials including the private persons engaged in the election duty shall be double vaccinated before taking their services.
    9.    Candidate/election agent/polling agent counting agent/driver etc. whoever is coming in contact with the public or election officials have to be double vaccinated.
    10. One health worker to be appointed as COVID nodal officer for each Polling Station.
    11. CS/DG and concerned DMs/SPs shall take enough preventive measures and make necessary arrangements to ensure that no poll related violence occurs during pre and post poll.   
    12. In the light of advisory issued by the Health Ministry of GoI, ECI will keep a close watch on the evolving situation and may further tighten the guidelines for the upcoming elections.
     
    Annexure -1 
    Schedule for bye-election in 159- Bhabanipur AC in West Bengal
    Poll Events
    Date and Day
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    06.09.2021, Monday
    Last Date of Nominations
    13.09.2021, Monday
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    14.09.2021, Tuesday
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    16.09.2021, Thursday
    Date of Poll
    30.09.2021, Thursday
    Date of Counting
    03.10.2021, Sunday
    Date before which election shall be completed
    05.10.2021, Tuesday
     
    Annexure-2
    Schedule for polls in 56-Samserganj & 58- Jangipur Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal and 110-Pipli AC in Odisha where the adjourned polls were deferred 
    Poll Events
    Date and Day
    Date of Poll
    30.09.2021, Thursday
    Date of Counting
    03.10.2021, Sunday
    Date before which election shall be completed
    05.10.2021, Tuesday

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  23. Seizures in elections crosses historic milestone of Rs 1000 crores

    Seizures in elections crosses historic milestone of Rs 1000 crores

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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ECI Main Website

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

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