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The Election Commission of India (EC) on Thursday has formed a core committee to identify shortcomings from recently held Assembly polls in states and to push for reforms -- from strengthening legal framework to ensure compliance of Covid-19 protocols to regulating poll expenditure by political parties.

"ECI push for wide-ranging reforms. Sets up a Core Committee headed by Secretary-General to identify learning, experiences and shortcomings from recently poll gone states in furtherance for continuing electoral reforms process", tweeted Sheyphali Sharan, official spokesperson of ECI.

"Election Commission of India in furtherance for continuing reforms process has decided to set up a Core Committee headed by Secretary-General, ECI to identify learning, experiences, shortcomings from recently poll-gone States of Assam, Bihar, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and UT of Puducherry", informed an official release by the Commission.

The committee is broadly tasked to identify: Shortcomings /gaps in ECI regulatory regime, if any and the gaps in implementation and enforcement at the level of Chief Election officers (CEOs)/ District official.

Need for Strengthening legal/ regulatory framework enabling ECI to more effectively ensure compliance of guidelines/directions including the Covid norms.Measures to ensure discharge of responsibility, like enforcement of covid protocol by the agencies/ authorities mandated under respective regulatory/ legal regime to do so irrespective of and in addition to ECI guidelines.

Gaps, if any in the guidelines or at implementation level in Model Code of Conduct (MCC)/ regulatory regime leading to avoidance/ non-compliance by the Candidates/ Political parties' stakeholders.

Measures to further strengthen the expenditure management regulation for inducement free election; Shortcomings in existing framework in providing protection to electoral machinery from possibility of reprisal after elections.

Measures required for strengthening the offices of electoral machinery at the State level namely the offices of CEOs, District/Divisional election officers (DEOs) and returning officers (ROs).

Issues related to Electoral Roll, Voter List and delivery of Elector's Photo Identity Card (EPICs); Gaps in Communication strategy, if any.

The Committee has also been asked to collate, analyse experiences, best practices across States/UT and suggest way forward and further reforms required.

DECs of the ECI and CEOs of recent poll gone States and few select Special Observers and Observers will be members of the Committee. While finalising, its recommendations, the Committee will also take inputs from State Nodal Officers of different divisions like Police, Expenditure, Health authorities as well as from some DEOs, SPs and ROs identified by CEOs, Polling officials, BLOs about the issues and challenges faced at the grass root levels.

The Committee will also examine the recommendations of the nine Working Groups (which were set up post Lok Sabha Elections, 2019) in light of experiences in the Poll gone States. The Commission had formed Nine working groups of CEOs and Commission Officers covering various facets of the election process including Electoral Roll issues, Polling Stations management, MCC, Voting processes and Materials inventory, Capacity Building, IT applications, Expenditure Management, SVEEP and Media interface as also Electoral Reforms.

Recommendations of the Core Committee will help the Commission to chalk out way forward for forthcoming polls in future. The Core Committee has been asked to submit its report within a month.

The election results of the recently poll gone states/UTs were announced on May 2.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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