Election Commission Holds Review Meeting For Upcoming Assembly Polls

Election Commission Holds Review Meeting For Upcoming Assembly PollsThe Election Commission of India.
  • Five states — Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh — are scheduled to go to polls in the near future.

Taking the first step for the forthcoming round of assembly elections due early next year, the Election Commission has held a review meeting with the chief electoral officers of the five states — Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh — that go to polls.

The preliminary meeting held at the Nirvachan Sadan was focussed on various thematic issues including Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) at the polling stations, ease of registration arrangements for voter facilitation, electoral rolls, timely resolution of grievances, arrangements of EVMs/VVPATs, postal ballot facility for senior citizens (80+) and Covid-19 mitigation plan, training of polling staff and extensive voter outreach amongst others.

According to a statement from the Commission, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said in his address at the meeting that transparency and impartiality are the hallmarks of the election process.

He said that while the issues and challenges may be different in each state, election planning needs to have a voter-centric approach and there must be participative decision-making involving all stakeholders.

He emphasised on the need for rationalisation of polling stations keeping in view the pandemic and said all booths must have basic facilities and infrastructure.

He also said that logistical challenges in the implementation of postal ballot facility to senior citizens and others need to be identified and resolved.

Chandra said the states that go to the polls next year should learn and adopt innovations and best practices in election management from the states where elections have already been held.

Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey said that periodic and comprehensive monitoring of each aspect of elections must be done by the CEOs of the poll-going states.

He highlighted the need to activate the ground-level election machinery in the five states to start preparations for the forthcoming elections.

The Chief Electoral Officers from the five states gave a detailed presentation on various aspects of conduct of election including health of electoral rolls, availability of budget, manpower resources, SVEEP, planning, polling station arrangements and IT applications.

The meeting was also attended by all Senior Deputy Election Commissioners, Deputy Election Commissioners and other senior officials from the Election Commission of India.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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