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Speed Post News Network New Delhi : The Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu on March 20, 2019, greeted the people on the eve of Holi. In a message, he said More »

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Abhinandan Varthaman masks have flooded Ara markets this Holi

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ECI holds day long sessions to brief General, Police and Expenditure Observers

Speed Post News Network

New Delhi : As a run up to the forthcoming elections to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies of four States, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on March 14, 2019, organised the first briefing for Observers to be deployed in the Poll going States. Over 1,800 senior officers drawn from IAS, IPS officers as also from Indian Revenue Service and few other Central Services attended the meeting. These officers are being deployed as General, Police and Expenditure Observers.

Reminding the Observers of their crucial role, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora pointed out that the officers need to be earnest and have no choice but to ensure that no mistakes are committed. Arora recalled that in the recent State elections held, it took all of miniscule percentages of instances of slippages in following the laid down protocol for EVM-VVPAT procedures or missing out of few names from Electoral Roll, or delay in Counting of votes, to push all other good work done to the background. CEC emphasised that while discharging the onerous duties as Observers while officers observe the electoral process, the ECI observes these officers to ensure that they sincerely discharge the assigned duties.

Arora noted that with changed times, concerns about abuse of money power and also social media are posing newer challenges. He said the endeavour of ECI is not only to conduct free and fair elections but also transparent, clean and ethical elections.

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa reminded the group that as Observers, they need to ensure implementation of all instructions of the ECI in letter and spirit. Lavasa mentioned that the recently launched CVigil App has helped empower every citizen also to help the Commission keep a vigilant eye on Model Code violations. But availability of this App has itself put more responsibility on officers managing and overseeing the electoral system. He reiterated that the Observers need to be accessible and available to all stakeholders on the ground as the officers are literally the extended arms of ECI in the field.

Addressing the officers, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra drew the attention of the Officers that as Observers their role is to be eyes and ears of the Commission in keeping a watchful eye and to take all preventive measures to ensure free and fair elections..

During the day long briefing sessions, the officers were given comprehensive and thorough inputs about the various aspects of election management by the Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, DECs and DGs of ECI. Detailed thematic presentations were made on Election planning, Observer’s roles and responsibilities, electoral roll issues, enforcement of Model Code of Conduct, legal provisions, EVM/VVPAT management, media engagement and the wide array of activities undertaken for voter facilitation under the Commission’s flagship SVEEP (Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation) programme.

ECI for the first time has also started a  new mobile app called ‘Observer App’. Using this App, General, Police and Expenditure observers can submit their Observer’s report securely to ECI, according to a PIB release.

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