New Delhi, May 13: From last month, World’s largest democracy, India is in the election zone. To witness this massive administrative and political marvel, The Heads, and representatives of 20 Election Management Bodies (EMBs) from across the world have arrived in New Delhi on 12th May.
More than 65 such delegates have been invited by ECI to join the Election Visitors Program.
These delegations include representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Fiji, Georgia, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Romania, Russia, Srilanka, Suriname, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
The Delegates also included a team of 6 Members and 9 Sr. Election officers from Election Commission of Myanmar visiting India as part of training program being conducted by the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) under the sponsorship of the Ministry of External Affairs.
Addressing the participants, the Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora lauded the foresight and vision of forefathers of Indian Constitution in establishing the Election Commission of India a day before the promulgation of the Republic.
The second issue of ECI's quarterly magazine "My Vote Matters" was also released on this occasion by the Commission. The Magazine presents a comprehensive glimpse of preparatory initiatives in different States for the ongoing elections.
While quoting from Article 324 of the Constitution of India, Sh Arora reiterated that Election Commission of India is firmly committed to ensuring free, fair and robust elections in the country. He added that Election Commission of India had never been deterred by the skeptics & critics and as always, is committed to functioning as per the principles and ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India by our visionary forefathers.
"The objective and intention of the Commission are to always keep learning from the experiences of the past for necessary course corrections for the future" Shri Arora emphasized.
Shri Arora also highlighted the recent IT initiatives taken and particularly the effectiveness of c-Vigil Application of the ECI which has truly empowered the citizens in help reporting instances of violations of MCC and play a critical role in the entire electoral process.
Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa recalled that India has come a long way from 1950 when World was skeptical of decolonized India being able to handle democracy.
"Its a tribute to forefathers of Indian Constitution that Universal Right to Vote was granted from day one" he pointed out. "We take comfort from the fact that from the first election of 1952 when mere170 million electorates, spread across 2lakh polling stations, the participative exercise of Indian Elections has now grown to more than 910 million voters for whom ECI machinery organizes more than 10 lakh polling stations".
Sh Lavasa noted that adoption and adaptation of technology embraced by ECI have helped manage this large scale electoral process, making it one of the largest management exercise in the World.
The delegates were very keen to understand the entire panorama of election events in India. On May 12, 2019, they witnessed the conduct of mock poll early in the morning at various polling stations at Dwarka. They interacted with the polling officials and understood the procedures and processes that make our elections so credible and transparent.
The delegates visited various polling stations in North West Delhi, East Delhi, Chandni Chowk. South Delhi and Gurgaon through the day to see the polling-in –action and the festive air that surrounds polling. They visited some polling stations which are managed entirely by women polling staff as also some model polling stations with the best of facilities for the voters. The delegates also interacted with the Chief electoral officer of Delhi to get the perspective on elections from the state level. They also visited the Election Museum at CEO office Delhi. The close of polling and the protocols that accompany the sealing of the machines was another aspect that the delegates will be exposed to during the day.