ECI organizes briefing meeting of observers for upcoming Assembly Elections (Photo/ANI)
ECI organizes briefing meeting of observers for upcoming Assembly Elections (Photo/ANI)

ECI organizes briefing meeting of observers for upcoming Assembly Elections

ANI | Updated: Mar 06, 2021 16:17 IST

New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday organised a meeting for briefing general, police and expenditure observers who will be deployed in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal during the upcoming Assembly election.
As per an official release, more than 1650 observers participated in the briefing meeting physically and virtually from more than 120 remote locations. "Officers from IAS, IPS, IRS, and other Central Services have been included to be deployed as General, Police and Expenditure Observers," it said.
Addressing observers, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora said that observers are one of the most important torchbearers of Indian democracy. Arora said successful conduct of elections is always a combined feat of field officers and ECI where the observers and special observers also play a vital role. He added that, during these elections, observers will have an additional role in the randomisation of forces and their deployment.
CEC said the resilience of Indian democracy lies in the fact that the so-said "common man" plays a decisive role in government formation. "The motto of ECI is to ensure empowered, vigilant, well informed, and safe voters," he added.
He reminded observers that they should be visible and accessible to citizens and enable them to vote fearlessly, and warned them that ECI will act swiftly and ruthlessly in case anyone is found to be lax in performing their duties. He also asked the observers to visit the polling booths to check the due facilitation to senior citizens, persons with disabilities and women voters to ensure the commission's commitment to the principle of inclusive elections.
Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra who was also present during the meeting said that in the forthcoming elections, more than 18 crore voters would be exercising their right of franchise.
"Accounting for social distancing norms, more than 80,000 polling stations have been added. Observers need to ensure proper direction to field-level officers so that ECI's constitutional mandate is scrupulously fulfilled," said Chandra.
For these ensuing elections, ECI has extended the option of Postal Ballot facility to the electors who are marked as Persons with Disabilities (PwD), electors above the age of 80 years, electors employed in notified Essential services and electors who are COVID- 19 positive/suspect as certified by the competent authority and are in quarantine (home/institutional).
Commission's broad guidelines for Covid-safe election to be adhered to during the entire election processes for all persons include increased number of auxiliary polling stations, thermal scanning of all persons, sanitizer and mask use; larger halls with the adequate spacing of counting tables; an adequate number of vehicles mobilized for movement of polling personnel, security personnel to ensure compliance of Covid-19 guidelines as also vaccination for all personnel involved in electoral process. (ANI)