From Candidate Photos On EVMs And VVPATs, To Eco-Friendly Campaigns: All The Firsts In Lok Sabha Elections 2019CEC Sunil Arora (pic via Twitter)

Candidates’ photographs along with the party symbols will be found in the EVMs for the first time in Lok Sabha elections 2019, Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Sunday (10 March 2019), reports Hindustan Times.

To fulfill its mandate of conducting free and fair elections, ECI has introduced a slew of measures not just in the interest of voters but also environment. The poll panel said that in upcoming elections, Voter Verified Paper Audit Trial (VVPAT) will be used in all EVMs.

In a step against criminalisation of politics, ECI has asked the candidates with criminal records to publish all such information in newspapers and television channels at least three times during the campaign. The political parties are also required to publish information of candidates with criminal background on their websites as well as newspapers and television channels on three occasions during the campaign.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that the commission had harnessed latest technology in different election processes such as the cVIGIL app through which Android users can report any violations to ECI directly.

“All that one has to do is to simply click a picture or to take a video and briefly describe the activity before uploading it on the cVIGIL mobile application. If the complainant desires to remain anonymous he has the option to do so,” said Arora. The complaint will be taken up by the flying squad and complainant will be kept updated about the status.

ECI has also exhorted political parties to use only eco-friendly materials in campaigns, keeping in mind the long term impact on the environment of plastic, polythene etc.

“The DEOs (district electoral officers) and ROs (returning officers) are directed to emphasise the importance of environment protection and preservation during the meetings with the political parties and contesting candidates and ensure that the instructions of the Commission with regard to the restrictions on the usage of non-eco-friendly materials during electioneering shall be adhered to by all concerned,” Arora said.

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