‘ECI ready to act’: CEC Rajiv Kumar on 'One Nation, One Election' policy | Mint
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Business News/ Elections / ‘ECI ready to act’: CEC Rajiv Kumar on 'One Nation, One Election' policy
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‘ECI ready to act’: CEC Rajiv Kumar on 'One Nation, One Election' policy

Responding to a question on the concept of ‘one nation, one election, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) said that the poll commission is required to ‘deliver elections before the time’ as per constitutional provisions and the RP Act.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar addresses a press conference to review the poll preparedness for the forthcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections 2023, in Bhopal on Wednesday (ANI)Premium
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar addresses a press conference to review the poll preparedness for the forthcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections 2023, in Bhopal on Wednesday (ANI)

Election Commissioner of India, Rajiv Kumar, on Wednesday said that the Election Commission of India is ready to act according to legal provisions if the ‘One Nation, One Election’ policy gets implemented. This remark comes as the committee formed by the India Government convenes at former President of India Ram Nath Kovind's residence to discuss the possibility of simultaneous elections. 

Rajiv Kumar's remarks comes as top ECI officials visited Bhopal to hold meetings with political parties and the administration and enforcement agencies over election preparedness in BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan -governed Madhya Pradesh, where polls are due by November.

Responding to a question on the concept of ‘one nation, one election' the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) said that the poll commission is required to “deliver elections before the time" as per constitutional provisions and the RP Act.

This time, according to legal provisions, is five years from the date of the first sitting of Parliament after a new government is formed. The ECI can announce the general elections six months before the end of this time, Kumar said. The norms are similar for assembly elections.

The ECI is mandated and ready to deliver elections as per legal provisions, he said.

To a question about e-voting, CEC said it will take time as the process is vulnerable to hacking and also has trust issues. Technology is not an issue and the current process is not connected to a network but “discussion on this (e-voting) is going on and it will take time to evolve", he said.

Asked about the possibility of “misuse of online transactions" in the run-up to polls, the CEC said financial institutions are told to keep a watch on suspicious and bulk transactions and alert authorities concerned.

Kumar said ECI is putting in place a system to enable senior citizens and persons with disabilities to vote from their homes in the upcoming polls if they apply for the same.

Such voters can request through an online form to vote from home, he said. Election officials will visit the homes of such voters and ensure voting with confidentiality and also videograph the process in the presence of political parties’ representatives, he said.

The poll commission is also making efforts to increase voting percentage and ensure the participation of women, new voters and other vulnerable tribal groups, he said.

Asked about the current expenses of candidates whose names have already been announced by their parties, Kumar said as per legal provisions, a candidate is needed to keep a tab of their expenditure from the date of nomination till the polling day.

About freebies, the CEC said political parties have the right to inform voters about what they are offering to the electors but they also need to spell out the timeline of fulfilling the promise, the expenditure to be incurred on it and the arrangement of funds.

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Published: 06 Sep 2023, 06:58 PM IST
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