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ECI India briefs General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the Assembly Elections in the States of Haryana and Maharashtra

September 23, 2019 07:08 PM

NEW DELHI SEPT 23-Election Commission of India briefs General, Police and Expenditure
Observers for the Assembly Elections in the States of Haryana and Maharashtra
The Election Commission of India today organized a Briefing for Observers to be deployed for Elections to be held next month for theHaryana and Maharashtra Legislative Assemblies. Around 500 officers
drawn from IAS, IPS officers as also from Indian Revenue Service and fewother Central Services attended the briefing meeting. These officers arebeing deployed as General, Police and Expenditure Observers.
Reminding the Observers of their crucial role, Chief ElectionCommissioner Sh. Sunil Arora emphasised on the conduct of elections ina transparent, participative & voter friendly manner, more so for Persons
with Disabilities and Senior Citizens who need assistance. He stated thatthe Observers should ensure strict compliance of ECI's rules andStandard Operating Procedures to be followed. Sh Sunil Arora pointed
out that the officers need to be extremely careful to ensure that nomistakes are committed. Sh Arora cautioned that even the most minor of mistakes at times spiral into avoidable news reporting. He said the
Observers as ECI appointed nominees need to be vigilant, neutral and
responsive in their approach to all stakeholders at field level. Sh Aroranoted that keeping in view specific requirements, the Commission hasalso appointed two Special Expenditure Observers for the State of
Maharashtra viz Ms Madhu Mahajan (ex IRS 1982) who, given her pastexperience in Investigations Wing of Income Tax department, wasappointed Special Expenditure Observer for Tamil Nadu in recent Lok
Sabha elections also and Sh B Murali Kumar (ex IRS 1983) who was alsoappointed Special Expenditure Observer for 8-Vellore ParliamentaryConstituency during Lok Sabha Elections and had served as DGIT(Inv.),
Chennai earlier.
Election Commissioner Sh Ashok Lavasa noted that ECI's
procedures for the field level functionaries are well laid out. "ECI expects
and depends a lot on the Observers as the ground level officers also
depend a lot on expert advice and impartial perspective of the Observers
so posted'', Sh Lavasa added. The Election Commissioner said ECI has
developed the Observers' App and other tech-tools such as CVigil to aid
the officers, though it is expected that the Observers would be alert and
discharge their duties faithfully at all times.
Addressing the group, Election Commissioner Sh Sushil
Chandra drew the attention of the Officers that as Observers they have a
crucial statutory duty to perform on behalf of Election Commission of
India. He exhorted the officers to observe all due details with respect to
smooth conduct of elections on the ground level - be it the Assured
Minimum Facilities at Polling stations or the diligent following of laid
down procedures of mock poll, etc for Electronic Voting Machines or
enforcement of expenditure guidelines and coordinated functioning
among all agencies to take preventive measures to ensure free and fair
elections. He pointed out that the role of Expenditure Observers has
become quite significant in current milieu. The Observers should keep a
keen eye on all key election functionaries at the field and should act as
eyes & ears of the Commission , Sh Chandra added.
During the half-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 Planning &
SVEEP Sh Umesh Sinha as also on aspects of Electoral Roll, IT
Applications, Model Code of Conduct by Senior Deputy Election
Commissioner Sh Sandeep Saxsena. Sh Saxsena also as State in-charge
of Elections for Haryana briefed the officers on ground-level concerns of
the State of Haryana. DEC Sh Chandra Bhushan as State in-charge of
Maharashtra and one handling legal provisions at the Commission,
briefed the Observers on details to be followed. DEC Sh Sudeep jain
briefed the Observers on EVM-VVPAT protocols to be monitored. 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. The Observers were also acquainted
with the various IT initiatives and expenditure guidelines.
Using the Observers App, General, Police and Expenditure
observers can submit their report securely to ECI to upload the relevant
document from the mobile app. The Observers will get all important
notifications, alerts, and urgent messages on this App while they are on
duty. It will also facilitate observers to get their deployment status,
download the ID card and update their profile. The Observers can make
a written observation after the flying squads have investigated the
matter. Observers are put on deputation with ECI for the entire duration
of the Election Process till end of October 2019.

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