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Chief Election Commissioner of India holds a virtual conference with Chief Electoral Officers

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) The Election Commission of India led by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey held a virtual conference with Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of all the States and UTs. It was held to ascertain the experiences of poll gone states and to galvanize the poll bound states.

In addition, the conference focused on key thematic issues like smooth, efficient & friendly voter services, integration of IT applications, extensive voter outreach program, expenditure monitoring and capacity building.

Talking about the recently concluded assembly elections in five states, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) said that by seamlessly conducting elections amid the pandemic for such a large voter base, India has presented a successful model for the world to emulate.

The CEC urged the poll bound states including Punjab to learn from the experiences of states where elections were held recently. In this context, ECI shall hold two day conference with CEOs of five states where elections are due early part of next year. These states include Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Goa and Manipur. Before the two day conference with the poll bound states, the ECI shall also facilitate a virtual conference with five poll gone states.

The Chief Election Commissioner stressed upon the issue of pendency related to the grievance redressal system and instructed the CEOs to ensure that all the complaints should be redressed within 30 days. CEOs were also instructed to take appropriate steps for making voter experience extremely friendly and ensure IT integration and popularization of mobile apps in this regard.

The Chief Election Commissioner also insisted the CEOs to maintain the momentum even in the non-election period. CEOs were asked to make concerted efforts in ensuring 100% error-free electoral roll and make entire electoral process hassle-free.

Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar underlined the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and prescribed guidelines in terms of movement and storage of EVMs. The key points such as separate arrangement of storage for state commissions and involvement of political parties in the First level Checking (FLC) were stressed upon. Shri Rajiv Kumar further elucidated that physical verification of EVM warehouses shall begin from July 1st by the Deputy Commissioners –cum – District Election Officers.

In his concluding remarks, Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey said that during the non-election period, CEOs should focus on consolidation including training & capacity building, Systematic Voters Education & Electoral Participation (SVEEP) and plugging the infrastructural gaps.

Dr. S. Karuna Raju, IAS, CEO Punjab and Ms. Madhvi Kataria, IAS, Addnl. CEO attended the meeting.

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