The Election Commission of India held a review meeting on advance planning for forthcoming elections with the Chief Electoral Officers of the five states namely Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, today at Nirvachan Sadan.
The preliminary meetingheld was focussed on various thematic issues including Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) at the polling stations, ease of registration arrangements for voter facilitation, electoral roll, timely resolution of grievances, arrangements of EVMs/VVPATs, postal ballot facility for senior citizens (80+) and PwDs,COVID Mitigation plan, training of polling staff and extensive voter outreach amongst others.
Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra in his address said that transparency and impartiality are the hallmark of the election process. He added that issues & challenges may be different in each state, but election planning needs to have a voter-centric approach and participative decision making involving all stakeholders.
During his address, CEC Shri Sushil Chandra stressedon the significance of the purity of the electoral roll and asked the CEOs forexpeditious redressal of all pending applications with regard to voter registration.He also emphasized on the need for rationalization of polling stations keeping in view the COVID 19 pandemic and reiterated the need to have basic facilities& infrastructure in all polling stations. Adding further, Shri Chandra mentioned that all logistical challenges in implementation of postal ballot facility to senior citizens (80+) and persons with disabilities need to be identified & resolved for its smooth & transparent implementation during the elections.
CEC Shri Sushil Chandra while interacting with the CEOs said that states should learn and adopt innovations and best practices in election management from the poll gone states or other States/UTs.
Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey while interacting with the CEOs emphasized that periodic & comprehensive monitoring on each aspect of election should be done by all the poll going CEOs. He highlighted the need to activate the ground level election machinery in the five states to start the preparations for the forthcoming elections. He mentioned that CEOs should focus on filling up infrastructure gaps & logistics requirement, updation & purification of electoral rolls and an extensive voter education &empowerment outreach program.
Secretary General Shri Umesh Sinha in his welcome address said that election planning iscritical for election management and every election needs comprehensive and timely preparation.He added that this pre-planning meeting was organized for the states to seek the guidance of the commission in ensuring proper arrangements and further preparations for the upcoming elections in the five states.
The Chief Electoral Officers from the five states gave a detailed presentation on various aspect of conduct of election including health of electoral roll, availability of budget, manpower resources, SVEEP, planning, polling station arrangements and IT applications, etc. The meeting was also attended by all Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, Deputy Election Commissioner’s & other senior officials from the Election Commission of India.