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Press Releases

  

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  1. Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) presents its Report on Sample Size of VVPAT Counting to Election Commission of India

    No. ECI/PN/34/2019                                    Dated: 22nd March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) presents its Report on Sample Size of VVPAT Counting to Election Commission of India
    Indian Statistical Institute(ISI) today presented its Report on the sample size of  Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slip counting to the Chief Election Commissioner Shri  Sunil Arora  and Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra.  The Report was presented by Prof. Abhay G. Bhatt, Head ISI, Delhi Centre.  It may be recalled that in view of the varying demands for enhanced percentage of VVPAT Slip count during elections in the country, the Commission had engaged the Indian Statistical Institute to systematically analyse and scientifically examine the issue of VVPAT Slip verification with electronic count of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

    ISI is one of the most prominent and reputed national institution devoted to research, teaching and application of statistics and sampling methodology in the country. Keeping in view their domain expertise and subject specialization, the Commission decided to engage the Institute in arriving at mathematically sound, statistically robust and practically cogent solutions to the issue of a number/percentage of VVPAT slip counts to done during the elections.
    Apart from Prof Abhay G. Bhatt, Head ISI, Delhi Centre, the Expert Committee also consisted of Prof Rajeeva L. Karandikar, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) and Shri Onkar Prosad Ghosh, Dy. Director General (Social Statistics Division), Central Statistics Office, MOSPI, who was nominated by Director General, National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Before finalizing its report, the Expert Committee had wide ranging consultations with other experts in the field of statistics and examined suggestions received from other groups. This Expert Committee has submitted its Report titled 'Random Sampling For Testing of EVMs via VVPAT Slip Verification' to the Commission today i.e. 22nd March 2019. 
    The Report submitted by the Expert Committee shall now be examined by the Commission and necessary action initiated.

    822 downloads

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  2. Social Media Platforms present " Voluntary Code of Ethics for the 2019 General Election" to Election Commission of India

    Social Media Platforms present " Voluntary Code of Ethics for the 2019 General Election" to Election Commission of India

    2,223 downloads

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  3. ECI appoints Special Expenditure Observers for Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu

    ECI/PN/32/2019     Dated : 19th March 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub : ECI appoints Special Expenditure Observers for Maharashtra and    Tamil Nadu 
    Election Commission of India has appointed two eminent former Civil Servants Sh. Shailendra Handa & Ms. Madhu Mahajan as Special Expenditure Observers for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. While Sh. Shailendra Handa ex-IRS (1980) has been deployed in Maharashtra, Ms. Madhu Mahajan ex-IRS (1982) has been deployed in Tamil Nadu.  Both these officers have rich experience of working in Investigation Wing of I.T Department and have supervised many successful search and seizure actions unearthing tax evasion in complicated cases.
    The Special Observers will be supervising and monitoring the work being done by the electoral machinery and ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken based on intelligence inputs and complaints received through C-VIGIL and Voter Helpline 1950 against all persons/entities  trying to induce voters by distributing cash, liquor & freebies etc.  in order to vitiate the poll process.

    589 downloads

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  4. ECI convenes meeting with Social Media Platforms; IAMAI and Social Media Intermediaries Willingly Agree to come up with a Code of Ethics for the Industry Laying Down Operational Details

    No. ECI/PN/31/2019   Dated: 19th March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub : ECI convenes meeting with Social Media Platforms; IAMAI and Social Media Intermediaries Willingly Agree to come up with a Code of Ethics for the Industry Laying Down Operational Details   
    Election Commission of India today had in-depth interactive session with representatives of various Social Media Platforms and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on the usage of Social Media ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
    In his opening remarks, Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora cited Model Code of Conduct as a unique and historic document which is followed by all political parties /entities from the date of declaration of schedule of elections till the election process is concluded. This Code is the outcome of consensus evolved amongst the different Political Parties and ECI. Infact, more often than not, this Code has obviated the need for application of more stringent provisions of law, he said. Shri Arora exhorted the Social Media Organizations, who are formidable force-multipliers, to come up with a similar Code for the ongoing election process in the immediate context and a lasting document in the long run. 
    Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa pointed out that today's has been a momentous meeting for evolution of ‘behaviour’ of Social Media platforms on Social Media. He said that voluntary restraint is a hallmark of civilized society and works as effectively as any regulation. He suggested that a clear clause on users' voluntarily agreeing not to misuse social media platforms for election or political purposes should be considered by the management.
    Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra reminded the representatives that Election Commission of India is committed to ethical, free & fair elections. He reiterated that role of social media in helping spread information as well as curbing misinformation cannot be underestimated. He added that deterrents like some punitive action against users misusing the platform should be considered pro-actively. Shri Chandra said that a participative approach from the social media platforms would greatly help ECI meet its objectives. 
    The meeting was centered on discussing issues like appointment of dedicated grievance channel for expeditious action by the organizations, pre- certification and transparency in expenditure of political advertisements. The meeting also focused on evolving a notification mechanism by social media platforms for acting upon the violations of Section 126 of R.P. Act, 1951 and preventing misuse of these platforms. 
    Today's meeting was attended by the industry head Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and representatives from social media organizations such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Google, ShareChat, TikTok and BigoTV.
    IAMAI and Social Media intermediaries willingly agreed to come up with a ‘Code of Ethics’ for the Industry laying down operational details by tomorrow evening. 
     

    324 downloads

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  5. ECI convenes a meeting of Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence

    No. ECI/PN/30/2019    Dated: 15th March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub : ECI convenes a meeting of Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence 
    Chief Election Commissioner  Shri Sunil Arora along with Election Commissioners  Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra today held a meeting of Multi Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence.  Heads of Tax Boards, Law enforcement agencies, Central Paramilitary Forces and representatives of Financial Institutions attended the meeting.

    Addressing the meeting, CEC  Shri Arora said it is the constitutional mandate of the Election Commission of India to conduct free and fair elections. Conducting clean elections is now one of the biggest challenges in our democracy given the prevalent abuse of money power, particularly when it manifests in inducement of voters.  He said Commission is determined to curb this menace and has issued  detailed guidelines to monitor election expenditure incurred by candidates and political parties.  The expenditure monitoring mechanism has got stronger over a period of time and larger seizures have been made by our enforcement teams in successive elections. He said individually and collectively the agencies participating in the meeting are the bulwarks of clean elections. The outcome of synergised action should exceed the commitments made.  
    Election Commissioner Shri Lavasa pointed out that implementation of ECI’s instructions on field requires co-ordination among the various expenditure monitoring teams and the agencies tasked with enforcement.  Sharing of Intelligence amongst the agencies should ensure that there is concerted attack on problems faced. He noted that multidimensional, multi-fanged crime needs to be tackled with coordinated action. He reminded the agencies that due follow-up action on seizures done in previous MCC phase should see demonstrative action against antisocial elements enough to feel deterred next time. He emphasised that mischief mongers are ever devising more ingenious ways to beat the system. 

    Election Commissioner Shri Chandra highlighted that election expenditure monitoring mechanism with its two thrust areas of  keeping track of the legal expenditure incurred by candidates and political parties for election campaigns, and more importantly, ensuring that there is no illegal use of money and other items for buying of votes, is vital to ensure clean elections. Use of money during the elections has increased by leaps and bounds in recent times and therefore there is greater need to have synergy amongst various enforcement agencies so that a collective strategy is developed to fight this menace.  The Commission desires that all enforcement agencies should have proper sharing of information for taken coordinated action rather than working in silos.
    The issues discussed at the meeting included ways of Curbing of covert expenditure by candidates and political parties; sensitisation of the law enforcement agencies about their role during elections; co-operation and sharing of intelligence of economic offences amongst law enforcement agencies for effective action; preparation of road map for action during the elections; mapping of constituencies by concerned agencies to check transportation of smuggled goods, drugs, liquor and cash, including fake currency, through seaports, inter-state borders and international borders and pro-active and preventive action by each law enforcement agency. The Heads of Tax Boards, Law enforcement agencies, Central Paramilitary Forces and representatives of Financial Institutions assured the Commission of prompt 24X7 expenditure monitoring and surveillance action and implementation of instructions to ensure curbing of abuse of money power in elections.
    The senior Officers who attended the meeting included Shri P.C. Mody, Chairperson & Member (Inv.), CBDT; Shri Pranab Kumar Das, Chairman, CBIC; Shri Sanjay Kumar Mishra, IRS, Director, Enforcement  Directorate; Smt. Mitali Madhusmita, IRS, DG, CEIB;  Shri Pankaj Kumar Mishra, IRS, Director, Financial Intelligence Unit-IND; Sh. Rajesh Ranjan, IPS,DG, CISF;  Shri Rajni Kant Mishra, IPS, DG, BSF;  Shri Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, IPS, DG, CRPF;  Shri Kumar Rajesh Chandra, IPS, DG, SSB;  Shri Abhay, IPS, DG, NCB; Shri Arun Kumar, IPS, DG, RPF; Shri Sunil Mehta, Chairman, Indian Bank Association; Shri Rakesh Asthana, IPS, DG, BCAS;  Sr. Level  Functionary from the RBI.

    237 downloads

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  6. Registration of political parties under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 – Public Notice Period – regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/29/2019          Dated:  15th  March , 2019 
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject :  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 Election Commission of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Commission 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 the party in two national daily news papers and two local daily newspapers, on two days in same news papers, for inviting objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party before the Commission within  a 30 days from such publication. 
    3. The commission has announced the elections for the Lok Sabha and Assemblies to Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh on 10th March, 2019.  Therefore, in view of the current elections, the Commission has given one time relaxation  and has reduced the notice period  from 30 days to 7 days for  the parties who have published their public notice by 10th March, 2019 i.e. date of announcement of election.   
    4. Now, therefore, if any body has any objection with regard to the registration of any political party who have published their public notice by 10th march, 2019 may file their objection against that party by 17th March, 2019.  

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  7. Schedule for bye-election to fill casual vacancy in the State Legislative Assembly of Gujarat– Regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/28/2018   Dated:   14h March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject : Schedule for bye-election to fill casual vacancy in the State Legislative Assembly of Gujarat– Regarding.
     There is one clear vacancy in the State Legislative Assembly of Gujarat, which needs to be filled up:
    Sl. No.
    State
    Number & Name of Assembly Constituency
    1
    Gujarat
    77 -  Jamnagar Rural Assembly Constituency
     
    After taking into consideration various factors like local festivals, electoral rolls, weather conditions etc., the Commission has decided to hold bye-election to fill this vacancy  as per the programme mentioned as under: -
    Poll Events
    Schedule
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    28.03.2019 (THU)
    Last Date of Nominations
    04.04.2019 (THU)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    05.04.2019 (FRI)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    08.04.2019 (MON)
    Date of Poll
    23.04.2019 (TUE)
    Date of Counting
    23.05.2019 (THU)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    27.05.2019 (MON)
     
    ELECTORAL ROLL
    The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2019 as the qualifying date has been finally published.          
    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.
     IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
    In consonance with the past practice, the Commission has decided that the voter’s identification shall be mandatory in the aforementioned bye- 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 bye-elections.
     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 bye-election is included, subject to partial modification as issued vide Commission’s instruction No. 437/6/INST2016-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.

    195 downloads

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  8. ECI conducts day long sessions to brief the General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the forthcoming Elections

    No. ECI/PN/27/2019    Dated: 14th March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub. : ECI conducts day long sessions to brief the General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the forthcoming Elections 
    As a run up to the forthcoming Elections to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies of four States, the Election Commission of India today organized the 1st briefing for Observers to be deployed in the Poll going States. Over 1800 senior officers drawn from IAS, IPS officers as also from Indian Revenue Service and few other Central Services attended the briefing meeting. These officers are being deployed as General, Police and Expenditure Observers.

     
    Reminding the Observers of their crucial role, the Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora pointed out that the officers need to be earnest and have no choice but to ensure that no mistakes are committed. Sh Arora recalled that in the recent State elections held, it took all of miniscule percentages of instances of slippages in following the laid down protocol for EVM-VVPAT procedures or missing out of few names from Electoral Roll, or delay in Counting of votes, rendering all other good work done in the background. He reminded the officers that ECI, set up as a unique institution since 1950 to function as the very bedrock of democratic process, associates officers from varied fields to help conduct the elections as per well defined duties. CEC emphasised that while discharging the onerous duties as Observers while officers observe the electoral process, the ECI observes these officers to ensure that they sincerely discharge the assigned duties. Sh Arora noted that with changed times, concerns about abuse of money power and also social media are posing newer challenges.  He said the endeavour of ECI is not only to conduct free and fair elections but also transparent, clean and ethical elections. 
    Election Commissioner Sh Ashok Lavasa reminded the group that as Observers, they need to ensure implementation of all instructions of the ECI in letter and spirit. Sh Lavasa mentioned that the recently launched cVIGIL App has helped empower every citizen also to help the Commission keep a vigilant eye out for violations Model Code of Conduct. But availability of this App has itself put more responsibility on officers managing and overseeing the electoral system. He reiterated that the Observers need to be accessible and available to all stakeholders on the ground as the officers are literally the extended arms of ECI in the field.

     
    Addressing the officers, Election Commissioner Sh Sushil Chandra drew the attention of the Officers that as Observers their role is to be eyes and ears of the Commission in keeping a watchful eye and to take all preventive measures to ensure free and fair elections. He pointed out that the role of Expenditure Observers becomes crucial when methods of inducements to voters are becoming very innovative too.
    During the day long briefing sessions, the officers were given comprehensive and thorough inputs about the various aspects of election management by the Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, DECs and DGs of ECI. Detailed thematic presentations were made on Election planning, Observer’s roles and responsibilities, electoral roll issues, enforcement of Model Code of Conduct, legal provisions, EVM/VVPAT management, media engagement and the wide array of activities undertaken for voter facilitation under the Commission’s flagship SVEEP (Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation) programme. The Observers were also acquainted with the various IT initiatives and mobile applications launched by the Commission for voter facilitation as well as effective and efficient management of election process in the field. The Observers were provided functional demonstration of EVMs and VVPATs and briefed about the multifarious technical security features, administrative protocols and procedural safeguards that surround the EVM ecosystem to make it completely secure, robust, reliable, non-tamperable and credible. 

     
    Comprehensive publications unveiled by the Commission, namely compilation of all thematic presentations on different subjects of Election Management, State/UT profiles and National Election Planner and Compendium of Instructions on Election Expenditure Monitoring were provided to the Observers to facilitate their work. 
    ECI for the first time has also started a  new mobile app called ‘Observer App’. Using this App, General, Police and Expenditure observers can submit their Observer's report securely to ECI  to upload the relevant document from the mobile app. The Observers will get all important notifications, alerts, and urgent messages on this App while they are on duty. It will also facilitate observers to get their deployment status, download the ID card and update their profile. Since the observers will be closely involved in real-time disposal of Model Code of Conduct and expenditure violation cases, cVIGIL App will help them see all these cases under their jurisdiction. The Observers can make a written observation after the flying squads have investigated the matter. Observers are put on deputation with ECI for the entire duration of the election process. 
     

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  9. Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancies from 64 – Dhrangadhra AC and 85 – Manavadar AC in the State Legislative Assembly of Gujarat

    No. ECI/PN / 26 /2019           Dated:  13th March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject :              Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancies from 64 – Dhrangadhra AC and 85 – Manavadar AC in the State Legislative Assembly of Gujarat – Regarding.
     There are two clear vacancies in State Legislative Assembly of Gujarat, which need to be filled up:
     
    Sl. No.
    Number and Name of Assembly Constituency
     
     
     
    1.
     
    64 – Dhrangadhra
    2.
    85 – Manavadar
    After taking into consideration various factors like, festivals, electoral rolls, etc., the Commission has decided to hold the bye-elections to these 2 Assembly Constituencies following the same schedule as for the relevant Parliamentary Constituency as per the programme mentioned as under: - 
    Sl No.
    Event
    Date
    1
    Issue of Notification
    28.03.2019
    2
    Last date of making Nominations
    04.04.2019
    3
    Scrutiny of Nominations
    05.04.2019
    4
    Last date for withdrawal of Candidatures
    08.04.2019
    5
    Date of Poll
    23.04.2019
    6
    Counting of Votes
    23.05.2019
    7
    Date before which election shall  be completed
    27.05.2019
     ELECTORAL ROLL
    The electoral rolls of the Assembly Constituencies where bye-elections are being held have been revised with reference to 01.01.2019 as the qualifying date.
    ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES (EVMs) & VVPATs
    The Commission has decided to use EVMs & VVPATs in the bye-elections in all the polling stations. Adequate numbers of EVMs have been made available and all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly with the help of these machines.
    IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
    In consonance with the past practice, the Commission has decided that the voter’s identification shall be mandatory in the aforementioned bye- elections 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 bye-elections.
    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 Constituencies going for bye-elections is included, subject to partial modification as issued vide Commission’s instruction No. 437/6/INST/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 State concerned.

    313 downloads

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  10. Meeting with the Commission of the three Special Observers appointed for Jammu & Kashmir.

    No. ECI/PN/25/2019     Dated: 12th March,2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Meeting with the Commission of the three Special Observers appointed for Jammu & Kashmir.
    The Special Central Observers Dr. Noor Mohammad, IAS (1977, retd) , Sh Vinod Zutshi , IAS (1982, retd) and Sh. A.S.Gill, IPS (1972, retd), appointed by the Election Commission of India for assessment of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, met with the Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora, Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra at ECI Headquarters in New Delhi today.

    Shri Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner welcomed the Special Central Observers and thanked them for having accepted this onerous and delicate assignment, which entails assessing the situation of J&K on real time basis in the context of para 62 of the Press Statement given by CEC on 10th March, 2019 while making the announcement of the schedule of elections:-
    “62.The Commission will be regularly and on real time basis monitoring the situation in J & K and will also be taking inputs from all necessary quarters and decision regarding holding Legislative Assembly elections in J & K will be taken soon.”
    During the meeting it was requested to the Special Observers that they may kindly visit the State at the earliest, a suggestion which was accepted by them. Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioners also briefed them during the interactive session which lasted for almost 2 hours.
    DEC-in-charge of the State Mr. Sandeep Saxena briefed them about preparedness of election in J&K and gave other details regarding the State.  The Commission discussed with them about their roles and responsibilities. The three Central Observers would be required to visit the State and make a real time assessment of the situation by meeting Political Parties, district and state authorities and other stake holders.  

    Shri A S Gill has wide experience in field of security management in difficult areas.  He was IG:CRPF  in J &K between 1995-97 and subsequently superannuated as DG:CRPF.  Dr. Noor Mohammad, a former Secretary to Government of India has worked more than a decade in the fields of election management as Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh, Deputy Election Commissioner in ECI, international expert and consultant on election in Afghanistan for many years.  Shri Vinod Zutshi, former Secretary in the Central Government also has wide experience for more than a decade in elections at the state level as CEO, Rajasthan and at the ECI level as Deputy Election Commissioner for more than five years.         

    187 downloads

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  11. ANNOUNCEMENT OF SCHEDULE FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS TO LOK SABHA AND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES IN ANDHRA PRADESH, ARUNACHAL PRADESH, ODISHA & SIKKIM, 2019.

    No. ECI/PN/24/2019     Dated:10th March, 2019
     PRESS NOTE
     SUBJECT: ANNOUNCEMENT OF SCHEDULE FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS TO LOK SABHA AND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES IN ANDHRA PRADESH, ARUNACHAL PRADESH, ODISHA & SIKKIM, 2019.
     In continuation of the Commission’s Press Note No. ECI/PN/23/2019, dated 10th March, 2019, the following may be read as:
    2.         The date of poll in respect of Bye Elections for 18 ACs of Tamil Nadu, as mentioned at Sl.No. 14 to Sl. No. 31, as already scheduled for Phase 2(Two) of Election, shall be read as 18th April, 2019 instead of 23rd April, 2019.
    3.         In the details of Schedule No. 3, 4 & 5 in respect of PC (3-Anantnag) in Jammu & Kashmir, the Date of Issue of Notification, Last Date of Filing Nominations, Scrutiny of Nominations & Last Date for Withdrawal of Candidature, shall be read as 28th March, 2019, 04th April, 2019, 05th April, 2019 & 08th April, 2019, respectively only with Dates of Poll as 23rd April, 2019, 29th April, 2019 & 06th May, 2019, respectively.
    4.         Accordingly, the election schedule for Anantnag PC of Jammu & Kashmir will be held as per schedule:
    1
    Issue of Notification­
    28.03.2019
    2
    Last Date of filing Nominations
    04.04.2019
    3
    Scrutiny of Nominations
    05.04.2019
    4
    Last date for withdrawal of Candidature
    08.04.2019
    5 (a)
    Date of poll (in Anantnag District)
    23.04.2019
    5 (b)
    Date of poll (in Kulgam District)
    29.04.2019
    5 (c)
    Date of poll (Shopian & Pulwama Districts)
    06.05.2019
    6
    Counting of Votes
    23.05.2019
     

    13,958 downloads

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  12. Announcement of Schedule for General Elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim, 2019

    Alternate link to download the press note: Announcement of Schedule for General Elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim, 2019
     
     
     
     

    67,920 downloads

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  13. INVITATION FOR PRESS CONFERENCE

    Dated: 10.03.2019                                                             INVITATION FOR PRESS CONFERENCE
    Dear Sir/Madam,
    You are invited to cover the following event:
    Media Event
    :
    Press Conference by Election Commission of India
    Day & Date
    :
    Sunday, 10th March, 2019 
    Time
    :
    1700 hours
    Venue
    :
    Plenary Hall, Vigyan Bhavan,  New Delhi
     IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS FOR MEDIA ENTRY
    Ø Entry of TV Camerapersons and Still Camera photographers will be on the basis of PIB Accreditation Card only from 3.30 PM onwards
     To,
    All Accredited Correspondents/Camera Persons
    DG (News), Doordarshan / DG (News), All India Radio
    Photo Division at CGO Complex
    Photo Publicity Unit in PIB
     

    5,937 downloads

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  14. Commission’s State Review of J&K for Poll Preparedness

    Commission’s  State Review of  J&K for Poll Preparedness
    Dated 4th and 5th March 2019
    Press note
     Jammu 5th March 2019
    Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora accompanied by Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Sh Sushil Chandra alongwith the team of officers from Election Commission of India, conducted a two day review of Poll Preparedness of the State of Jammu and Kashmir on 4th and 5th March 2019.
    During the visit, the Commission met with representatives of various political parties and noted their issues and concerns. The Commission took note of their concerns for holding free, fair and ethical elections. The Commission reviewed the work of District Election Officers, SPs/Commissioner of Police, Divisional Commissioners and IGs and discussed election preparedness with Chief Secretary, DGP and other Nodal Officials of the State. The Commission also met with Nodal officers of Income Tax, Excise, Narcotics Control, Customs, Banks, Postal Department, Railways, Airports and with State Level Bankers Committee convener to review in detail the strategy to curb misuse of money/liquor & freebies distribution during the election.
    Highlights of the issues discussed during the meeting and instructions of the Commission include issues regarding Electoral Roll; Polling Arrangements;  Security arrangements required for conducting Elections in the State as also Expenditure monitoring concerns among other issues detailed below.
    Specifically, the Political Party Representatives mentioned on Electoral Roll issues, that copies of the Roll have not been received by their Central offices. They also requested for copies in English apart from Hindi and Urdu. Some instances of duplicate voters were pointed out. Some parties voiced concern for Migrant Voters finding the M Form procedure not very convenient. They desired that special Polling Stations be set up for such migrant voters rather than them needing to make separate trips for filling the form. Delays in printed Electors Photo Identity Cards were mentioned.
    Regarding Polling arrangements, Some Representatives pointed out that Polling Stations are shifted at very late stages citing security concerns and causing confusion about the location. At times with such relocation, Polling Booths get set up far from their residences and travel to the distant PS makes them vulnerable on commute enroute. The representatives desired that Polling stations be set up closer to areas where large number of voters reside.
    On the issue of Need for Elections, almost all Political Parties voiced the need to have both – Parliamentary and Assembly Elections conducted at the earliest in the State saying that recent turnout in the Panchayat and ULB elections, suggests that general population in the State wishes to have their democratically elected government in place. They said the party representatives and public at large have full faith in ECI that they would fulfill their constitutional mandate to conduct free and fair elections in the State.
    With respect to Security Arrangements, Representatives from all Political Parties emphasized that due security arrangements be made to provide adequate security to voters and candidates so as to instill confidence in them for conducive environment for forthcoming elections. Some political party members desired that adequate security should be continued for ex-Ministers and candidates even after actual election process is over.
    Among other Miscellaneous issues, the Parties cited instances of transfer of some officers in violation of ECI norm was brought to the notice of the Commission. They requested that officials who can adversely influence conduct of free and fair elections, should not be allowed to continue in their posts. They also said given the snowbound conditions in the State, polling dates be considered after month of May.
     Commission's assurance and instructions
    The Commission is committed to deliver free, fair, peaceful, transparent, ethical and inclusive elections. The Commission attaches prime importance to ensuring conducive environment for conducting elections in the State keeping in view the specific concerns of the State. Effective mechanism is being fine tuned for smooth conduct of the electoral process. The Commission has directed the State level and District Level Election Machinery to meticulously coordinate all logistics arrangements for smooth conduct of elections and make comprehensive action plans so as to instill absolute confidence in all stakeholders. Officers have been asked to ensure Effective monitoring and vigilance. 
     The Commission solicits proactive support of all political parties, media organisations, civil society, youth and community organisations and all voters of the State to join hands with the Commission and wholeheartedly participate in poll process.
    Election Commission attaches utmost priority to ensure purity of Electoral Rolls. All DEOs have tried their best to enroll all eligible voters. While Final publication of Electoral Rolls has been done on 7th February, 2019 and copies of the same have been distributed at district level, copies as desired will also be made available to all Political Parties in Hard as well soft form. The Electoral Rolls without photographs have also been hosted on the CEO’s official website. Efforts are still on to include those who have been left out. Special camps are being organised by DEOs.
     Special camps have already been organized by CEO on 23rd & 24th February 2019 and more camps are being organized in the month of March. The Commission’s motto is ‘No Voter To Be Left Behind’ and our officers will make all efforts to register all eligible voters.
    As mere possession of Electoral Photo Identity Card is not sufficient – a #GOVERIFY campaign has been started so that voters can proactively confirm their own name in the Electoral Roll. Recently it also has been clarified that Electors Photo Identity Card or one of the eleven specified photo identity documents will be essential for casting vote and the Photo Voter Slips issued will not be valid as stand-alone identification document for voting.
    As regards the specific concern pointed out for M Forms for Migrant Voters, it was explained to the Party representatives also that to facilitate registration,voting and other issues/grievances, at present there are three AERO-Migrants (Assistant Electoral Registration Officers) who also perform duties of AROs as well as BLOs (Booth Level Officers) appointed specially to register the Kashmiri migrants. Special camps were conducted at the migrant camps during SSR 2019 which resulted in addition of 4988 Kashmiri migrant voters during last one year.  Two more Special Camps are being organised on 6th and 7th March, 2019 for migrant voters in all 26 special polling stations.
    Similarly to facilitate Voting, Three Assistant Returning Officers (Migrants) are appointed ,one each for Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi. 26 Special Polling Stations are setup for voting by migrants at Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi. Dedicated EPIC printing facility has been provided in the office of Relief Commissioner J&K. Due publicity for these special arrangements shall be scaled up for benefit of all concerned.
    Regarding Security Concerns, the Commission is indeed mindful of the specific challenging law and order situation in the State of J&K and especially in certain Assembly segments given their location and concerns. Commission will look into due security arrangements while deciding on the timing and phasing of the elections. Commission does as a matter of practice keep in mind local festivals, geographical conditions and related needs while deciding the schedule of election dates. The Commission would also keep in view the sentiments voiced by the representatives with respect to need for restoring democratically elected government in the State. The Commission is aware that Elections have been conducted in the past under trying circumstances in the State. J&K elections do attract global and national attention more than any other State.
    For the first time in the forthcoming general elections, VVPATs will also be used at all Polling Booths along with the EVM machines. Thus the officers need to ensure due awareness to all stakeholders about proper usage of the machines. The officers were also asked to strictly adhere to the laid down procedures and Standard Operating Procedures about use, storage and Transportation of the machines in all the constituencies. The Chief Electoral Officer has been directed that VVPAT awareness campaign be continued upto the booth and hamlet level.
    Commission has directed effective use of single window system, facilitation through IT applications.  Commission has also facilitated empowerment of Voters to report violations of Model Code of Conduct and abuse of money power by activating the cVigil App. The cVigil app will be activated in the State once the election dates are notified. Through this App, any citizen will be able to file complaints regarding MCC violations. The complaints thus received will be settled within the stipulated time frame. This app has been successfully operated in the recent legislative assembly elections held last year in other States.
    Samadhan, Suvidha, cVigil Apps have time-stamping facility to ensure transparency. SAMADHAN App helps to resolve complaints filed online and Parties or citizens need not depend on officials accepting/not accepting written complaints. The new SUVIDHA App is an integrated application – single window service on first come first serve basis to streamline candidate nomination, permissions, counting and results display. In addition Voter Helpline Mobile App, PwD App, Observers App will be used in forthcoming elections.
    For Voter Facilitation, Commission has instructed the State Election Officers to popularize the 1950 Help Line/NVSP portal for facilitating the Voters. The facilities of name search, name transfer, deletion, or modification can be done through "nvsp.in". Information can also be obtained by dialing the number 1950.
    The Voter Helpline Mobile app provides convenience to all Citizens of finding names in the electoral roll, submitting online forms, checking the status of the application, filing complaints and receiving the reply on their mobile app. All forms, results, candidate affidavit, press notes, Voter awareness and important instructions are available through the mobile app.
    By using the PwD App, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) can request for new registration, change in address, change in particulars and mark themselves as PwD through the use of the mobile application. By simply entering their contact details, the Booth Level Officer is assigned to provide doorstep facility. PwDs can also request for a wheelchair during polling.
    For Expenditure Monitoring, the officers have been asked to identify expenditure sensitive constituencies. General, Expenditure and police observers will be deployed after the announcement of Election by the Commission in the state to monitor all the activities and advise the local administration in order to ensure that there is no illegal inducement of voters by distribution of liquor and freebies. The contact numbers of all of these observers will be made available to public.
    All DEOs will constitute the Election Expenditure Monitoring Teams as per ECI Instructions. Flying Squads and Static Surveillance Teams will be constituted to check distribution of cash, liquor, drugs and freebies in sensitive pockets and border areas. Transaction of money through banking channels will be monitored and fool-proof arrangements would be made to monitor suspicious banking transactions. The Media Certification and Monitoring Committees set up will look out for instances of Paid News also.
    Commission has directed that at least one all women managed polling station be set up wherever possible. The Commission has revamped the Electronically Transferred Postal Ballot System to facilitate Service Voters whereby their ballot is electronically transmitted one way saving time and on return the Service voters can send their vote by speed post
    After Special summary revision 2019  following status of electoral roll has emerged: 
    Total No. of Electors: 78,50,671 Male Electors: 40,37,993 Female Electors: 37,39,951 Service Voters: 72,727 18-19 Age group: 1,82,182 EP Ratio: 0.58% Gender Ratio: 926 PER %: 98.61 EPIC%: 92.93 Total PwD Electors flaged on ERO Net: 29,305 Total marked Electors: 916 Net increase of electors: 3.16% over Draft Roll  After SSR 2019 the total number of Polling Stations in the state is 11,316. The commission emphasized to ensure 100% AMF in all of them.The State Government has been directed to provide the AMF facilities for all the voters, specially to facilitate the PwD voters on all the polling station at the earliest.
    Commission has directed to organize a participative, inclusive and people-friendly Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) campaign through all modes of communication for ensuring ethical and informed voting.
    Commission is aware of the increasing concern about emerging role of social media in spread of information. The Commission has issued orders for partial modification in earlier guidelines that the Media Certification & Monitoring Committees at District and State level will need to be reconstituted with the inclusion of an Intermediary expert (intermediary as defined in section  2(w) of IT Act, 2000)/social media expert.  For the purpose of the certification of advertisements as per the Supreme Court order dated 13.04.2004, Returning Officer of the parliamentary constituency/District Election Officer, an ARO (not below SDM) and an Intermediary Expert/Social Media Expert shall be the members of the MCMC.             
    The Commission considers media as its invaluable ally for election management and for implementation of election related laws, instructions and for monitoring the orders. The Commission has directed that regular press briefings must be held by the CEO and the DEOs and all crucial information be passed on to all the stakeholders through the media.

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  15. Photo voter slips not to be valid as stand-alone identification document for voting

    No. ECI/PN/22/2019    Dated: 28th February, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Photo voter slips not to be valid as stand-alone identification   document for voting.
    Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) or one of the eleven specified photo identity documents, essential for casting vote.
    The Election Commission of India has directed that all electors in all constituencies who have been issued Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) have to produce the Electors Photo Identity Card for their identification at the polling station before casting their votes. Those electors who are not able to produce the EPIC shall produce one of the following alternative photo identity documents for establishing their identity. The list of eleven documents is: 
    Passport, Driving License, Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office, PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, MNREGA Job Card, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour, Pension document with photograph, Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, and Aadhaar Card.  Overseas electors shall have to produce their original passport only for identification. To assist the Voters, the Commission has further directed its officers that in the case of EPIC, minor discrepancies in the entries should be ignored, provided the identity of the elector can be established by the EPIC. If an elector produces an EPIC which has been issued by the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) of another Assembly Constituency, such card shall also be accepted for identification, provided the name of that elector finds place in the electoral roll pertaining to the polling station where the elector has turned up for voting.  If it is not possible to establish the identity of the elector on account of mismatch of photograph, etc. the elector shall have to produce one of the above mentioned alternative photo documents.
    Previously, the Commission had allowed Photo Voter Slip (PVS) as a document for identification. However, there have been representations against its use as a stand-alone identification document on the grounds of misuse since PVSs are printed after the finalization of the roll and distributed just close to the poll day through Booth Level Officers (BLO). The design of PVS does not incorporate any security feature. In fact, Photo Voter Slip was started as an alternative document, since the coverage of EPIC was not complete in earlier years. Currently, more than 99% electors possess EPIC, and more than 99% adults have been issued Aadhar Cards.
    Considering all the above listed facts, the Commission has now decided that PVS shall henceforth not be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting.  However, PVS will continue to be prepared and issued to electors as part of the awareness building exercise.  In order to make it clear to the electors that PVS shall not be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting, the words `THIS SLIP WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF IDENTIFICATION IN POLLING STATION. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY EPIC OR ONE OF THE 11 ALTERNATIVE DOCUMENTS SPECIFIED BY THE COMMISSION FOR VOTING” shall be printed on the Photo Voter Slip in bold letters.
    All Returning Officers and Presiding Officers are being informed of these instructions. A copy of the instructions translated in the vernacular language will be supplied to each Presiding Officer. The Commission has directed to publicize the order immediately through Gazette notifications and through print/electronic media at regular intervals till poll day for public awareness.

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  16. Biennial/Bye Elections to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Council –reg.

    ECI/PN/21/2019        Dated: 24nd February, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Biennial/Bye Elections to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Council –reg.
    The term of office of following sitting members of the Andhra Pradesh & Telangana Legislative Council are due to expire as per the details given below:
    ANDHRA PRADESH
    Sl. No.
    Name of  Constituency
    Name of the Member
    Date of retirement
    1.
    East –West Godavari Graduates’
    Kalidindi Ravi Kiran Varma
     
    29.03.2019
    2.    
    Krishna-Guntur Graduates’
    Boddu Nageswara Rao
    3.
    Srikakulam-Vizianagaram-Visakhapatnam Teachers’
    Gade Srinivasulu Naidu
    TELANGANA
    1.
    Medak-Nizamabad-Adilabad-Karimnagar Graduates’
    K. Swamy Goud
     
     
    29.03.2019
    2.
    Medak-Nizamabad-Adilabad-Karimnagar Teachers’
    Paturi Sudhakar Reddy
    3.
    Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda Teachers’
    Poola Ravinder
    4.
    Hyderabad Local Authorities’
     
     M.S. Prabhakar Rao
    01.05.2019
     
    2. Also, one vacancy in Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council has occurred on 3rd October, 2018 due to death of sitting member, Dr. M.V.V.S. Murthi from Visakhapatnam Local Authorities’ Constituency. The term of Dr. M.V.V.S. Murthi is up to and including 11.08.2021.
    3. Amendment of Delimitation Order of Council Constituencies in Telangana  is under process; however, the Commission has decided to conduct the aforesaid elections as per the existing delimitation.
    4. Now, the Commission has decided to hold above mentioned Biennial Election to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Councils and bye election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from Visakhapatnam Local Authorities’ Constituency, in accordance with the following schedule:
     
    EVENTS
    DATES & DAYS
    1
    Issue of Notifications
    25th February, 2019 (Monday)
    2
    Last date of making nominations
    5th March, 2019 (Tuesday)
    3
    Scrutiny of nominations
    6th March, 2019 (Wednesday)
    5
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    8th March, 2019 (Friday)
    6
    Date of poll
    22nd March, 2019 (Friday)
    7
    Hours of poll        
    8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
    8
    Counting of Votes
    26th  March, 2019 (Tuesday)
    9
    Date before which election shall be completed
    28th March, 2019 (Thursday)

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  17. Substantial increase in number of Service Voters The Unregistered eligible Service Personnel can still file their applications for registration in the last part of Electoral Roll

    No. ECI/PN/20/2019    Dated: 22nd February, 2019
    Press Note
    Substantial increase in number of Service Voters
    The Unregistered eligible Service Personnel can still file their applications for registration in the last part of Electoral Roll
    The process of summary revision of last parts of electoral rolls with reference to 01.01.2019 as the qualifying date has concluded with the final publication of last parts today i.e. on 22.02.2019. A total of 16,62,993 service personnel have been enrolled as Service Electors in the Country in the final last part of electoral roll 2019. 
    In 2014 the corresponding figure was 13,27,627. Thus the 2019 ER has recorded a substantial increase on the total number of service voters of 2014. This increase in number of service voters has been due to the Commission’s all out efforts to maximise the registration of service electors during summary revision 2019 and active cooperation of the services/departments concerned and greater participation of service personnel. 
    As per the provisions of law and instructions of the Commission, all left out and un-registered eligible service personnel can still file their applications for registration in the last part of electoral roll during continuous updation till the last date of filing nominations of elections, and they can submit the Form 2, 2A or 3, as the case may be, through their Record officer/Commanding Officer/Authority concerned on the service voter portal i.e. servicevoter.nic.in. It is clarified that all the Forms received till 10 days before the last date of filing nominations shall be disposed of and the names of the applicants shall be included in last part of electoral rolls, if the Forms have been found complete in all respect by the ERO concerned.
    In order to ensure that maximum number of service personnel are enrolled in the last part and exercise their electoral right of franchise at elections, all the services/departments concerned have been requested to focus on bridging the gap in registration, if any, by motivating all unregistered eligible service personnel to get themselves enrolled in the electoral roll as service elector during continuous updation  so that they are not deprived of voting at impending election for want of registration in the electoral roll.

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  18. Voter Helpline: 1950

    No. ECI/PN/19/2019          Dated: 22nd February, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Subject: Voter Helpline: 1950
    In view of the impending General Elections, the Election Commission of India has strengthened its Voter Helpline to make it easy for the Voters to get authentic information pertaining to their voter registration.  The range of services provided by the Helpline Number 1950 have been refurbished and made easily accessible.
    The enrolled electors in the Electoral Roll can check the details of their personal information, the Polling Station planned for them to visit on the Poll Day and to know the contact details of Booth Level Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and District Election Officers, by using the Voter Helpline Mobile App or through www.nvsp.in  Portal or by calling 1950 Helpline Number.  In the same line, services through SMS can also be availed by citizens by sending SMS without any cost to 1950.  Formats in which such SMSs can be sent are:
    (i) ECI <EPIC Number>  <0 (for reply in English) or <1 (for reply in the regional language).   (ii) ECIPS <EPIC Number>    This will fetch the address of the Polling Station, where the said EPIC Number bearer needs to go to cast the vote.
    (iii) ECICONTACT <EPIC Number>   This will fetch the reply providing the sender with contact details of Booth Level Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and District Election Officers.
    Since mere possession of EPIC Card is not enough for the electors but their names should also be there in the electoral roll for enabling them to cast their vote on the poll day, it is necessary that the citizens/electors should check that their names figure in the electoral rolls.  If they are not enrolled, they can submit Form 6 online through www.nvsp.in or submit the form through Mobile APP or hard copy to the respective ERO Offices.  If there is any correction needed, they can submit Form 8 for necessary correction online through NVSP or through Mobile App or hard copy to respective ERO offices.  Also if their addresses are changed within the part, they need to submit Form 8A on the same lines as above.
    It is also clarified that all these services can be obtained directly or by approaching the concerned officials appointed by the Election Commission of India.  ECI has not authorized any intermediaries to provide these services.
     

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  19. Biennial Election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    ECI/PN/18/2019     Dated: 18th February, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
     Subject: Biennial Election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) –  reg.
    The term of five members each of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council and Telangana Legislative Council elected by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) is expiring on 29th March, 2019, details are given as under:
    S.No.
    Name of the Member
    Date of Retirement
    ANDHRA PRADESH
    1.                 
    Ponguru Narayana
     
     
    29th March, 2019
    2.                 
    Lakshmi Siva Kumari Anguri
    3.                 
    Pamidi Samanthakamani
    4.                 
    Ramakrishnudu Yanamala
    5.                 
    Appa Rao Adireddy
    TELANGANA
    6.                 
    Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy
     
     
    29th March, 2019
    7.                 
    Mohd. Ali Shabbir
    8.                 
    Thiruvaragarm Santosh Kumar
    9.                 
    Mohmmed Saleem
    10.              
    Mohd. Mahmood Ali
              Now, the Commission has decided to hold Biennial Election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by the members of respective Legislative Assemblies in accordance with the following schedule:
     
    S. No.
    Event
    Days and Date
    1.                 
    Issue of Notification
    21st February, 2019 (Thursday)
    2.                 
    Last date of making nominations
    28th February, 2019 (Thursday)
    3.                 
    Scrutiny of nominations
    1st March, 2019 (Friday)
    4.                 
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    5th March, 2019 (Tuesday)
    5.                 
    Date of poll
    12th March, 2019 (Tuesday)
    6.                 
    Hours of poll 
    9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
    7.                 
    Counting of Votes
    12th March, 2019 (Tuesday) at 5.00 p.m.
    8.                 
    Date before which election shall be completed
    15th March, 2019 (Friday)
     
     
     
     

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  20. Shri Sushil Chandra takes over as new Election Commissioner

    No. ECI/PN/17/2019      Dated: 15th February, 2019
     
    Press Note
    Subject : Shri Sushil Chandra takes over as new Election Commissioner
    Shri Sushil Chandra has assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India today on 15th of February 2019 and joins the Commission with Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa.

    Sh. Sushil Chandra assuming charge as the new Election Commissioner of India
     
    Born on 15th May 1957 Shri Chandra is a 1980 batch Indian Revenue Service Officer. In the IRS service Shri Chandra has rendered his service in various States viz; Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
    Acquiring his academic proficiency from Roorkee University and LL.B. from D.A.V. College, Dehradun, Shri Chandra has worked extensively in the areas of International Taxation and Investigation at various places. Shri Chandra brings rich experience from his position of Director of Investigation, Mumbai and Director General (Investigation), Gujarat. Besides this, he has undergone various training programmes at Singapore, IIM Bangalore & Wharton.
    Prior to joining ECI Shri Chandra held the office of Chairman in Central Board of Direct Taxes, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, and Government of India and was also Member (Investigation), C.B.D.T.
     

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  21. Election Commission of India launches Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for upcoming General Elections 2019

    ECI/PN/16/2019     Dated: 08.02.2019
    PRESS NOTE
     Subject: Election Commission of India launches Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for upcoming General Elections 2019
    The Election Commission of India has launched a Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for citizens for verifications of their names, new registrations, changes in the voter details and corrections in the Voter Id Cards for the upcoming General Elections 2019.  ECI has enabled various channels for this VVIP programme. ECI has also set up Contact centers in all districts across India. The Voter Helpline number is 1950 . The Contact Centres are equipped with latest information and telecom infrastructure to help the callers. 

    The VVIP Programme was launched during the 2-day intensive Training-cum-Workshop on the use of Information & Communication Technology for the conduct of General Elections 2019. The Training-cum-Workshop was attended by Additional Chief Electoral Officers, Incharge of IT, Nodal Officers, State Level Master Trainers and technical resource persons from all States and Union Territories.
    Speaking on the occasion Election Commissioner, Sh. Ashok Lavasa said that the strength of technology is to make it easy for use by all. He exhorted those attending the workshop to imbibe and in turn explain extensively to all. Sh. Lavasa reminded the participants that the central theme of ECI's endeavours are to make Elections more inclusive. With the use of Apps,  prompt responses should be ensured as citizens demand a better quality of services.  
    Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. Sunil Arora said that technology is indeed a major game changer. The purpose at training workshops should be to listen, learn, absorb and apply. He pointed out that little time is now left before elections and intense consolidation of all learning should be ensured to actually facilitate the voter.  
    One of the important applications for which training was imparted to all States and UTs was cVIGIL . cVIGIL App provides time-stamped, evidence based proof of the Model Code of Conduct / Expenditure Violation, having live photo/video with auto location data. Any citizen can lodge a complaint through the Mobile App. Flying Squads then investigate the matter and the Returning Officer takes the decision. The status of cVIGIL can be shared with the cVIGIL complainant within a specified time limit.
    A CVigil User Manual and the EVM Management System User Manual was released on the occasion. A new Android-based mobile app called ‘Voter Helpline ’ was also launched today. This App provides convenience to all citizens for finding their names in the electoral roll, submitting online forms, checking the status of the application, filing complaints and receiving the reply on their mobile app. All forms, results, candidate affidavits, press notes, voter awareness and important instructions are available through the mobile app.
    A ‘PwD App’ to enable Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) to request for new registration, change in address, change in particulars and mark themselves as PwD through the use of the mobile application was also launched. By simply entering their contact details, the Booth Level Officer is assigned to provide doorstep facility. PwDs can also request for a wheelchair during polling.
    Use of the latest technologies by ECI has led to the spread of novel election activities, in addition to enhancing the existing election system.  For effective conduct of elections, the ECI has found a way of integrating the use of Smart Technology in the day-to-day processes of elections.

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  22. ECI meeting with Political Party representatives

    ECI/PN/15/2019           Dated: 4th February, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: ECI meeting with Political Party representatives
     A delegation of Representatives of some National and State level recognised Political Parties met the Election Commission of India at Nirvachan Sadan today.
    The Commission heard the concerns of the Representatives regarding the demands related to the counting of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machine (VVPAT) slips.
    The Commission assured the Political Parties that issues raised by them would be deliberated and examined. While considering the averments made by the Political Parties, the Commission shall also keep in view the pronouncements made by the different Hon'ble Courts as well as the report expected shortly from the Indian Statistical Institute on the subject besides the overall administrative and operational feasibility on the ground, before firming up any response.   
     
     

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  23. National Voters’ Day celebrated on 25th January; President of India lauds initiatives being taken up by Election Commission in preparation for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019

    ECI/PN/14/2019        25th January, 2019 
    Press Note
     National Voters’ Day celebrated on 25th January;
    President of India lauds initiatives being taken up by Election Commission in preparation for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019
    The 9th National Voters’ Day (NVD) is celebrated across the country on 25th January 2019. The theme for NVD this year was ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’ reiterating the commitment of Election Commission of India (ECI) in view of the Lok Sabha elections due this year.
     
    Hon’ble President of India Sh. Ram Nath Kovind, while presiding over the National Function organized by ECI at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi hailed various interventions taken up by the Commission for conduct of free, fair and participative elections and particularly appreciated the initiatives for reaching out to voters in the remotest corner to enroll their names in the electoral roll and to encourage them to exercise the Right to Vote. Referring to his recent visit to Gir National Forest in Gujarat where he came to know about set up of a polling station in the remote location that too for a single voter, Shri Kovind lauded the efforts of ECI to make every vote count in consonance with the theme of the year.
    He said that the framers of our Constitution set up the Election Commission as an independent and constitutional body one day before the birth of the Republic of India. This reflects an immense regard and deep-rooted belief in democracy and the democratic spirit. Talking about the electoral process – beginning with the preparation of electoral rolls and concluding with the declaration of election results – he said it is difficult for an ordinary person to comprehend the complexity of the entire process. The President said that through all this, the credibility of Indian electoral system has continuously strengthened and Indian voters have a firm belief in the integrity, diligence, fairness and transparency of the election mechanism of the country.
     
    Applauding winners of the National Awards the President asked them to keep contributing to conduct of free and fair elections. Congratulating the new voters who were handed over the EPIC on this occasion, he asked them to take informed decision while casting their vote and said that their decision will define the future of the country. He said, Voters and Election Commission are most crucial to democracy and they compliment each other and also appreciated various initiatives taken by the Commission under the SVEEP programme particularly mentioning the Electoral Literacy Club (ELC) Programme and the All Women Managed Polling Station initiative.
    On receiving the inaugural issue of the new magazine of ECI he said that the magazine is most appropriately titled “My Vote Matters” and Every Vote counts equally in the formation of a government.
    Speaking on the same occasion, Sh Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister, Law & Justice complimented ECI for the stellar role played by it for strengthening the Indian democracy. He lauded the courage, commitment and foresight shown by successive Commissions for conduct of free & fair elections and said that all should trust and believe the sanctity of the election process. Appreciating various initiatives of ECI for voter education and outreach he said voter education is integral to a good democracy.
    Earlier while addressing the audience, Shri Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner reiterated Commission’s commitment to make elections more and more inclusive, voter friendly, transparent and festive and shared the new initiatives being taken up for efficient and effective connect with the voters and for strengthening the elector confidence.
    He briefed the audience about the cVIGIL initiative that provides time stamping proof of model code of conduct and expenditure violation by empowering every citizen to click a photo or video using Smartphone.
    In his welcome address, Shri Ashok Lavas, Election Commissioner briefed the audience about the significance of the day, saying that on this day we celebrate liberty and maturing of young minds into responsible citizens and thanked all stakeholders including voluntary organisations for their support.
    The First Issue of ECI’s quarterly bi-lingual magazine ‘My Vote Matters’ was presented by the Commission to the Hon’ble President of India. The new magazine hosts interesting and informative articles on many core subjects, new initiatives and topics of concurrent interest in elections, electoral processes and practices with the objective of developing a larger connect and interface with all the Stakeholders.
     As part of the regular NVD activity of felicitating the newly eligible voter, 6 young voters from Delhi were handed over their EPIC by the Hon’ble President.
    The National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices were conferred to Officers for outstanding performance in the conduct of elections. Special Awards were given to Departments and Officers from various departments for their contribution in smooth conduct of elections the general election to the Assemblies of 9 states in 2018. In addition, Awards were also given to CSOs and Media Houses who have made outstanding contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach in these elections.  (Brochure attached)
    Chief Election Commissioners and senior officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Russia and Sri Lanka and Heads/Senior Representatives of International Organisations viz. Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre, U.K.; International Centre for Parliamentary Studies, U.K. and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) graced the occasion and also visited the new campus of the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) at Dwarka, New Delhi. Members of Political Parties, Members of Parliament besides Diplomats from various countries and representatives from national and international organizations working in the area of democracy and elections attended the National Voters’ Day function.  
    The National Voters’ Day (NVD) is celebrated all over the country on January 25 every year since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on this day in the year 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize the enrollment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the Day is utilized to spread awareness among voters for promoting informed participation in the electoral process.

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  24. 9th National Voters’ Day to be celebrated on 25th January 2019

    ECI/PN/13/2019         Dated: 24th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: 9th National Voters’ Day to be celebrated on 25th January 2019
    The country will celebrate the 9th National Voters' Day on 25th January 2019 at more than 6 lakh locations covering around 10 lakh Polling Stations across the country. New Voters shall be felicitated and handed over their EPIC (Elector Photo Identity Card) in the NVD function. 
    Hon’ble President of India Sh. Ram Nath Kovind will be the Chief Guest at the national function being organized by Election Commission of India at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Law Minister shall also grace the national function. In view of the upcoming Lok Sabha Election, ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’ has been selected as the theme for the NVD.
    My Vote Matters, a Quarterly Magazine is being launched on the occasion and the first copy shall be presented by the Commission to the Hon’ble President.
    The National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices shall be conferred to Officers for outstanding performance in the conduct of elections. In addition, awards are also being given to CSOs and Media Houses who have made outstanding contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach.  
    Chief Election Commissioners and senior officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Russia and Sri Lanka shall grace the occasion. Members of Political Parties, Members of Parliament besides Diplomats from various countries and representatives from national and international organizations working in the area of democracy and elections are also expected to attend the national function. 
    The National Voters’ Day (NVD) is celebrated all over the country on January 25 every year since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on this day in the year 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize the enrollment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the Day is utilized to spread awareness among voters for promoting informed participation in the electoral process. 

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  25. ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA HOSTS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ‘MAKING OUR ELECTIONS INCLUSIVE AND ACCESSIBLE’ AND RENEWS MoU ON ELECTORAL COOPERATION WITH BHUTAN

    ECI/PN/12 /2019         24th January, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA HOSTS
     INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON 
     ‘MAKING OUR ELECTIONS INCLUSIVE AND ACCESSIBLE’   
    AND RENEWS
    MoU ON ELECTORAL COOPERATION WITH  BHUTAN
    The Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa today inaugurated an International Conference on ‘Making our Elections Inclusive and Accessible’. ECI is hosting the International Conference on the occasion of 9th National Voters Day which is observed on 25th January every year. Chairpersons/Chief Election Commissioners / Commissioner and Senior Officials from Election Management Bodies (EMBs) viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Maldives,  Russia & Sri Lanka and Heads/Senior Representatives of International Organisations viz. Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre, U.K.; International Centre for Parliamentary Studies, U.K. and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) have gathered in New Delhi to participate in the event. 

    In his Keynote Address, Sh. Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner of India,  stated that  free, fair, transparent, credible and ethical elections are critical to the legitimacy of a democratic government. It is imperative that the voice of all categories of voters is included in democratic representation. Inclusive elections coupled with characteristics such as transparency, accountability and competitiveness add to the strength of democratic polity.  Speaking specifically of the Indian context, he strongly affirmed that ECI is always open to all kinds of feedback in all forms from all stakeholders particularly the political parties who are the most significant stakeholders after the voters.  He  stated that ECI is not going to be intimidated, coerced or pressurized into going back to ballot papers days. The position has been consistently maintained by successive Commissions and the same will be maintained in the future.   In ballot paper era there used to be innumerable complaints about impersonation and booth capturing by anti-social elements and musclemen etc. besides the inordinate delays in declaring results which sometimes spread from three to four days. We have kept a robust technical and administrative mechanism to safeguard the integrity of EVM. VVPATs have further enhanced the transparency of votes for the voters. 
    In context of the recent aspersions cast on EVMs used in elections, Shri Arora denounced the targeting of the machines, which unnecessarily are being dragged into motivated slugfest. “EVMs have been in use for the last two decades. Even in several elections since 2014, the machines have given different results in different elections.” Shri Arora mentioned that even in the recent elections in the five States, out of a total of 176,000 Polling Booths where EVMs were used, there were six incidents of violation of Standard Operating Procedure, that too in reserved EVMs not used in the actual elections. “Although the ratio is negligible but even in these cases stringent disciplinary action was taken and ECI has and always will have zero tolerance to any kind of errors in the election process” he reiterated. 
    Shri Arora also referred to the relevant UN Treaties viz; Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948 and the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1966 etc. which have guided and provided strength and support to democracies across the world  in shaping up their constitutional, legislative, and legal framework for ‘Inclusive and Accessible Elections’.
    While addressing the participants, Election Commissioner, Sh. Ashok Lavasa mentioned that  Election Commission of India has played a pioneering role in organizing free, fair and credible elections in a transparent manner in the largest democracy in the world and leads the way in sharing best practices and knowledge skills with fellow EMBs.  He referred to the active role played by ECI in international arena in the field of Election Management through its close association with regional and world bodies like  FEMBoSA, AAEA, A-WEB and International IDEA. In this regard ECI has provided technical assistance to several countries like Jordan, Maldives, Namibia, Egypt, Bhutan and Nepal; undertaken Study/Observation Missions for Elections to a number of countries abroad and exchange visits for sharing of experiences and skills as also helped with capacity building programmes.
    Sh. Lavasa said “it is a tribute to Indian people, our democracy and the election machinery that what started as a voter base of 176 million people in 1951 is now a vast vocal electorate of almost 880 million with a voting percentage of about 66.4 % in 2014” 
    He noted that the better thing of the course is that the increase is across the spectrum, more women , more first time voters, more PwDs , more transgenders and more service voters.  The next milestone is to improve it further and work towards ethical voting, he emphasised.
    In his welcome address, Mr. Umesh Sinha, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner briefed the delegates about the contours of the International Conference on ‘Making our Elections Inclusive and Accessible’. He mentioned that ECI has led the way in the path to democracy during the last 68 years by conducting 16 General Elections to the Lok Sabha and more than 388 elections to the State Legislative Assemblies. ECI is globally recognised today as an institution of repute in imparting knowledge and sharing of best practices and skills with other EMBs through its robust International Cooperation Programme. He highlighted various initiatives taken by the ECI under its flagship programme Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) for enhancing Inclusion among various categories of voters to encourage their electoral participation.   He expressed the hope that the ideas and experiences shared at this Conference would provide useful takeaways for all stakeholders in this endeavour.
    During the one-day Conference, there were sessions with Heads and senior delegates from EMBs and International Organisations, giving their presentations and sharing of their experiences, best practices and initiatives aimed at electoral engagement, enrolment and active participation aiming towards inclusive and accessible ballot exercise   in their respective countries.

    On the sidelines of the Conference ECI today also renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the field of election management with the Election Commission of Bhutan. To mark the occasion, ECI also released the January 2019 issue of its Quarterly Magazine ‘VOICE International’.  The  magazine carries rich experiences for knowledge sharing on Inclusive and Accessible Elections across the democracies around the world.

    The international delegates have also been invited to attend the National Voters Day Celebrations in New Delhi on 25th January 2019 besides visiting the upcoming campus of the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) at Dwarka, New Delhi. Some of the delegates will also witness the celebration of the Republic Day on 26th January 2019.

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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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