CEC terms ‘One Nation One Election’ initiative positive

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Sep 2018 10:37:19


Staff Reporter,


First time Election Commission to appoint Accessibility Observers during 2018 elections

Election Commission to conduct Webcasting, at selected sensitive and hyper-sensitive polling booths

The concept of ‘One Nation One Election’ initiative today got one step closer as the Election Commission termed it as a positive initiative.  Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat, while stating that holding debate on this issue is a good sign, he added that the Law Commission has submitted its draft report recently, but discussions on this topic is going on since 2015.

Addressing mediapersons on the concluding day of his 2-day visit, Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat, who was accompanied by Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa as well as Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha, said in order to ensure free and fair elections in State, particularly in LWE affected areas, the Election Commission assured that this time it will be conducting Webcasting, at selected sensitive and hyper-sensitive polling booths, while in other booths still photography and video-graphy will be carried out. As another first, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) said the facility of cVIGIL election application will be available for the common citizens.

The App will be available from the day the Model Code of Conduct comes into force till one day after the polling process ends. Through this App, general public can upload pictures or videos of any kind of violation of Model Code of Conduct or violation of any election norms. The CEC said within 100 minutes of uploading, action will be taken and feedback will be given to the complainant. In case, the complaint is against any influential personality, the complaint can hide his identity by opting for the same. An option in this direction is available in the App. In case the complainant opts for this option, the feedback will be made available through print or electronic media.

The CEC informed that for the first time the Election Commission is going to appoint Accessibility Observers during the Assembly General Elections 2018, with an objective to achieve its motto – ‘No Voter to be left behind’. He also informed that in every Assembly segment, there will be one polling booth which will be operated by women.
Addressing the mediapersons after 2-days marathon meetings with representatives of political parties and state administration, the CEC said the preparations for the forthcoming Assembly polls are satisfactory in Chhattisgarh, but much more needs to be done.

He assured that the Commission is committed towards holding free, fair, peaceful, transparent and inclusive general elections. In order to achieve the same an effective mechanism will be established in the state. Since VVPAT will be used in all 23,632 polling booths in State, he said the political parties, administrative and police officials have been informed about the VVPAT working and directed CEO Chhattisgarh to carry out intensive awareness campaign among general public for the same.

The CEC assured that for effective monitoring of the poll process, Accessible Observers, General Observers, Expenses Observers, Police Observers and Micro Observers will be appointed. He also instructed that all members of polling parties deputed in LWE affected areas should be lifted from their respective polling station on completion of polling process by helicopter. If necessary more helicopters could be placed into service.

The CEC said that the state administration and police have been directed to carry out necessary steps as directed to maintain and strengthen law and order situation during the polling. Accordingly, the CES instructed to carry out sudden inspections of jails, execution of non-bailable warrants, identification of antisocial elements and putting them under arrest. Effective measures will be taken for checking misuse of money, liquor, free gifts, etc. Personnel from different departments will be deployed to monitor such activities. Flying squads will be constituted to keep a tap on these issues.

The CEC said Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) have been appointed in all districts and at state-level and as soon as Model Code of Conduct comes into force, directives and guidelines regarding paid-news will be issued.

The CEC said this time the Election Commission has developed Public Grievance Redressal and Monitoring System which is an extensive and transparent public grievance redressal mechanism. Single Window System has been established for giving permission/approval within 24 hours for issues pertaining to election campaigning. Also an IT based vehicle management system has been enacted so that hiring of private vehicles for election process has become easier and transparent.

Apart from the CEC and ECs, present during the press briefing were Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha, Deputy Election Commissioners Sudeep Jain and Sandeep Saxena, Director General (Expenses) Dileep Sharma, Director General (Communications) Dhirendra Ojha, Director General (IT) V N Shukla, Additional Director General (Communications) cum ECI Spokesperson Shefali B Sharan, CEO Chhattisgarh Surbrat Sahoo and Additional CEO Chhattisgarh Dr S Bharatidasan.