In view to conduct the upcoming Lok Sabha General Elections-2019 in a free, fair and peaceful manner, Haryana Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Rajeev Ranjan said that all officials engaged in the election duty should work according to the guidelines and directives of the Election Commission of India.

Chandigarh, March 23- In view to conduct the upcoming Lok Sabha General Elections-2019 in a free, fair and peaceful manner, Haryana Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Rajeev Ranjan said that all officials engaged in the election duty should work according to the guidelines and directives of the Election Commission of India.

Mr. Ranjan was presiding over a review meeting regarding election preparations in the Faridabad division with District Election Officers, Assistant Returning Officers and other officials engaged in election process in Faridabad today.

During the meeting, District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Atul Diwedi also presented a detailed report on the current elections preparations in the district for the Lok Sabha elections. It was also informed in the meeting that the final voter list was published on Jan 31, 2019. District Election Officer, Palwal Mr. Maniram Sharma and District Election Officer, Mewat, Mr. Pankaj also presented reports of their respective districts before the Electoral Commissioner.

Mr Ranjan dialled the toll free number 1950 and received the vote related information and also checked call received on the toll free number. He also checked the complaints received on Twitter and its replies. He said that for the first time, c-Vigil App is being used in the election, through which anyone could upload any photograph or video related to violation of Model Code of Conduct or carrying out of any irregularities by any candidate or political party. He clarified that this app could only be used for complaints related to the election process. Through this App, the general public is being empowered. The complaints received on c-Vigil through photo and video would be redressed within 100 minutes by the officer concerned. This would help in detecting the location. That would also make up for strong evidences against the candidate which can be presented in the court. This time, technology would be used in elections, under which violation of Model Code of Conduct and concealing of election expenditure would be impossible.

Mr. Ranjan said that only having a voter slip is not the proof of being a voter, it is important to have an identity card for voting. Eleven alternative documents have been specified by the Election Commission for identification purpose during voting. He said that now, all voting related information would be easily available for voters in all districts, through Touch Screen. For this purpose, touch screens would be set up across the state. Through the medium of this screen, the voter could get information like vote, booth no, place of booth, EPIC no, Assembly number, Vidhan Sabha Constituency, vote related information about all members of family.

The Chief Election Commissioner asked to speed up the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) activities in Faridabad division and directed the officers for elaborate work to increase the voting percentage. He said that those eligible voters who still do not have their voter’s card, they could apply to get their voters card made till April 12, 2019 up to 3 pm. They could also apply online on www.nvsp.in. He said that awareness should also be generated among people to check their name in Voters list. In order to publicize this, hoardings are being put up at public places and Electoral Literacy Club has been made active at colleges and universities. He said that the principals of colleges would also issue a certificate ensuring that no student in their college who is 18 years or above age is without Voter’s Card.

Mr. Ranjan said that this time, such arrangements would be made in Lok Sabha elections that the polling parties need not stand and wait in long queues for the deposit of their belongings but instead their belongings would be deposited quickly on their arrival. Now, the counters for depositing of belongings by the polling parties would not be fixed, but any polling party could go to any counter and deposit their belongings.

Mr Ranjan said that all facilities prescribed by the Election Commission on polling stations should be provided. All the Assistant Returning Officers should visit polling booths under their respective assembly constituencies and would ensure that no polling station lacks any facility. The facilities included clean drinking water, shed, ramps for divyangs, electricity, toilets, two doors for entry and exit in the polling station and others. He also gave the necessary guidelines to the officials for conducting Lok Sabha elections in a free, fair, and peaceful manner. He also asked to complete the work of appointing of BLA (booth level agent) through the representation of political parties. He said that on the basis of past experience, such polling stations, which have less voting percentage, there more number of motivational activities and awareness programs should be organized for voters.

The Chief Electoral Officer said that all political parties should be asked to use environment friendly material in the election campaigning. Loud speakers should not be used during the campaigning from 10 am to 6 am according to Election Commission's guidelines. This time, booth level officers would visit every house and distribute the voters slip five days’ before the voting and after distributing the voters slip ensure to take the signature of the person concerned. He said that all Duty Magistrates and Inspecting Officers engaged in election duty would have GPS systems in their vehicles so that monitoring of electoral duty could be done with additional awareness.

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has drawn up a list of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ to be followed by political parties and contesting candidates till the completion of the process of General Election to Lok Sabha 2019.

Chandigarh, March 23: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has drawn up a list of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ to be followed by political parties and contesting candidates till the completion of the process of General Election to Lok Sabha 2019.

While stating this here today, Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Haryana Dr. Inder Jeet said that these instructions must be strictly observed and followed by political parties and contesting candidates.

While referring to the Dos to be followed by political parties and contesting candidates, Dr Inder Jeet said that with a view to ensure a level playing field, public places like maidans and helipads must be available impartially to all parties and contesting candidates. He said that during elections, criticism of other political parties and candidates should be restricted only to their policies, programs, past records and works. But, the right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed home life should be fully safeguarded. The local police authorities should be fully informed and necessary permission be taken well in time, of the venue and time of the proposed meetings. The restrictive or prohibitory orders in force, if any, in the place of the proposed meeting, should be fully respected, he added.

He said that permission must be obtained for use of loudspeakers or any other such facilities for the proposed meetings. The time and place of the starting and termination of any procession and the route to be followed should be finalized in advance and prior permissions obtained from the police authorities. The passage of the procession must be without hindrance to traffic. He said that cooperation should be extended to all election officials to ensure peaceful and orderly poll.

The Joint Chief Electoral Officer said that restrictions on plying of vehicles during the campaign period and on poll day should be fully obeyed. He said that any complaint or problem regarding the conduct of elections should be brought to the notice of the Election Commission’s Observer, Returning Officer, Zonal or Sector Magistrate or Chief Electoral Officer/Election Commission of India. The Directions, orders or instructions of the Election Commission/ Returning Officer or District Election Officer, in all matters related to various aspects of elections, should be strictly complied with.

He said that the political parties should ensure that no payment in excess of Rs. 10,000 is made in cash, in a day, to any person, company or entity.

While referring to the Don’ts, he said that no official work should be mixed with campaigning or electioneering and no inducement, financial or otherwise, should be offered to the voter. Apart from this, no appeal on basis of caste or communal feelings of the electors and no activity which may aggravate differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes, communities, religious or linguistic groups, should be attempted. Similarly, political parties and contesting candidates would ensure that there is no use of temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras or any place of worship for election propaganda, including speeches, posters, music or electioneering.

He said that activities, which are corrupt practices or electoral offences such as bribery, undue influence, intimidation of voters, personation, canvassing within 100 meters of a polling station, holding of public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close of the poll and conveyance of voters to and from polling stations, are prohibited. He said that demonstrations or picketing before house of any individual, by way of protesting against their opinion or activities should not be resorted to. In order to maintain purity of elections and bring transparency in the election process, political parties have been advised to avoid transactions in cash and instruct their office bearers, official, agents and candidates not to carry huge amount of cash during elections.

Dr Inder Jeet said that no processions should be held along places where another party is holding meetings. He said that posters, flags, symbols or any other propaganda material should not be displayed in the place being used on the day of poll for distribution of identity slips or near polling booths. Apart from this, the use of loudspeakers whether static or mounted on moving vehicles, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. would be prohibited. There would be no use of loudspeakers at public meetings and processions without prior written permission of the authorities concerned. He also made it clear that distribution of liquor during elections would be strictly prohibited.