Dated: 13th May 2021
ECI push for wide ranging Reforms
Election Commission of India in furtherance for continuing reforms process has decided to set up a Core Committee headed by Secretary General, ECI to identify learning, experiences, shortcomings from recently Poll-gone States of Assam, Bihar, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and UT of Puducherry.
The committee is broadly tasked to identify:
1. Shortcomings /gaps in ECI regulatory regime, if any and the gaps in implementation and enforcement at the level of CEOs/ District officials.
2. Need for Strengthening legal/ regulatory framework enabling ECI to more effectively ensure compliance of guidelines / directions including the Covid norms;
3. Measures to ensure discharge of responsibility, like enforcement of covid protocol by the agencies/ authorities mandated under respective regulatory/ legal regime to do so irrespective of and in addition to ECI guidelines;
4. Gaps, if any in the guidelines or at implementation level in MCC / regulatory regime leading to avoidance/ non-compliance by the Candidates/ Political parties’ stakeholders;
5. Measures to further strengthen the expenditure management regulation for inducement free election;
6. Shortcomings in existing framework in providing protection to electoral machinery from possibility of reprisal after elections;
7. Measures required for strengthening the offices of electoral machinery at the State level namely the offices of CEOs, DEOs and ROs;
8. Issues related to Electoral Roll, Voter List and delivery of EPICs;
9. Gaps in Communication strategy, if any.
The Committee has also been asked to collate, analyse experiences, best practices across States/UT and suggest way forward and further reforms required.
DECs of the ECI and CEOs of recent poll gone States and few select Special Observers and Observers will be members of the Committee. While finalising its recommendations, the Committee will also take inputs from State Nodal Officers of different divisions like Police, Expenditure, Health authorities as well as from some DEOs, SPs & ROs identified by CEOs, Polling officials, BLOs about the issues and challenges faced at the grass root levels.
The Committee will also examine the recommendations of the nine Working Groups (which were set up post Lok Sabha Elections, 2019) in light of experiences in the Poll gone States. The Commission had formed Nine working groups of CEOs and Commission Officers covering various facets of election process including Electoral Roll issues, Polling Stations management, MCC, Voting processes & Materials inventory, Capacity Building, IT applications, Expenditure Management, SVEEP and Media interface as also Electoral Reforms.
Recommendations of the Core Committee will help the Commission to chalk out way forward for forthcoming polls in future. The Core Committee has been asked to submit its report within a month.