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Business News/ Elections / ECI initiates 'First Level Checks' ahead of 5 Assembly Polls, 2024 Lok Sabha Election

The Elections Commission of India (ECI) has initiated the ‘first level of checks’ for the upcoming five Assembly elections scheduled to be held by the end of 2023, and the very crucial 2024 Lok Sabha Elections

The first level checks include taking stock of EVMs and paper-trail machines across the country in a phased manner. "Mock polls" are part of the first level check (FLC) process, they said.

"It is a pan-India exercise. FLC will take place across the country in a phased manner, including all constituencies of Kerala," an Election Commission functionary said.

The ECI official was responding to a question on a mock poll taking place in Kerala's Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, which fell vacant following the disqualification of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after he was convicted in a criminal defamation case in March by a sessions court in Surat.

The five Assembly Elections scheduled for 2023 include- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, and Telangana. These crucial states will see the Bhartiya Janata Party contest against striong regional parties and its equally formidable opposnent Indian National Congress. The latter now fighting with renewed vigour after it secured resounding victory in Himachal Pradesh, and Karnataka. 

There is also a possibility of state legislative assembly elections being held at Jammu and Kashmir, however, no official communication has been made by the ECI on the same. 

The five assembly elections set for the rest of 2023 will be held in November and December. These assembly elections are being considered crucial as experts have suggested that the elections result will bear a predictive understanding of the probably winner of the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. 

Further there are other bypolls lined up for Lok Sabha seats that fell vacant. This includes the Lok Sabha seats of Wayanad, Pune and Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Ghazipur (Uttar Pradesh) and Ambala (Haryana).

During FLCs, electronic voting machines and papertrail machines are checked for mechanical flaws by engineers of BEL and ECIL, the two PSUs who manufacture the two equipment.

Faulty machines are returned to the manufacturers for repair or replacement.

A mock poll is also held to check the two machines in the presence of representatives of political parties.

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Updated: 09 Jun 2023, 06:25 PM IST
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