Interview with O P Rawat – Outgoing Chief Election Commissioner

OP Rawat: ‘Note ban had absolutely no impact on black money. During polls we seized a record amount’

OP Rawat said, “We manage all polls with 17 lakh EVMs. If you have simultaneous elections, we will need 34 lakh. And maintain the inventory for five years, without any use. So, instead of savings, there may be losses.”

cVIGIL, the mobile application launched in Bengaluru during the Karnataka elections, helped voters report any violations of code of conduct. Through the application, the photo or video (of any violation) taken by a voter could be sent directly to the inbox of the returning officer or the district election officer concerned, who could then immediately verify the complaint, take action and respond within 100 minutes. In Bengaluru, we got 800 complaints. This time, during elections in the five states, we received nearly 7,000 complaints, of which 4,000 were verified and action was taken. This has given voters a lot of confidence.

We have launched campaigns for voter awareness in several public places — malls, museums etc. We have sent our EVMs and VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) machines across and asked people to come and vote and then count slips, so that they develop full confidence. Ninety-nine per cent of the parties support EVMs. When we asked political parties to come and check the EVMs, only two of them came and even they said that they had come only to learn about the machines. Then, we put up the EVM ‘Status Paper’ on our website, which has answers to all the doubts and questions. It also has inquiry reports about all incidents.

Some ask why is it that developed countries are not using EVMs? Some say it does not have Internet access and so it is obsolete. Yes, it is obsolete and that is why it cannot be tampered with. It cannot be connected to the Internet and so there is no chance of any hacking. The Indian EVM is unique.

We have to do a lot. Harvard University’s Electoral Integrity Project brought out a series on elections worldwide. The 2014 general elections were rated as having ‘moderate-integrity’ with a score of 59 out of 100. On nine out of the 11 parameters used for determining the integrity index, our score was 72 — ‘very high integrity’. On two counts, campaign finance and media issues, we scored very poorly — 34 and 37 respectively. We need to do a lot on those fronts.

When the election bonds were brought in through the Finance Bill of 2017, the EC raised its concerns with the Law Ministry. We said that it would result in more opacity in political funding and allow for loss-making companies to donate their money, because of the removal of the company law provision that allowed for only 7.5 per cent of the profit of the last three years to be donated. And, when you don’t know the source, anyone can give money. All the grey areas and concerns were flagged by the EC.

For the full interview – please visit – https://indianexpress.com/article/india/op-rawat-cec-note-ban-black-money-polls-assembly-elections-mizoram-5474369/

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Criminal Antecedents of Elected Candidates

 

Date: 4th November, 2018 Press Release

Wide Publication of Declaration of Criminal Antecedents of Contesting Candidates

New Delhi: Addressing the issue of increasing criminalisation of politics, a five-judge bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, had on 25th September, 2018, given five main directions to the candidates and the political parties distributing tickets to these candidates for contesting elections (Page-97 of the Judgement) They are:

(i)Each contesting candidate shall fill up the form as provided by the Election Commission and the form must contain all the particulars as required therein.

(ii) It shall state, in bold letters, with regard to the criminal cases pending against the candidate.

(iii) If a candidate is contesting an election on the ticket of a particular party, he/she is required to inform the party about the criminal cases pending against him/her.

(iv) The concerned political party shall be obligated to put up on its website the aforesaid information pertaining to candidates having criminal antecedents.

(v) The candidate as well as the concerned political party shall issue a declaration in the widely circulated newspapers in the locality about the antecedents of the candidate and also give wide publicity in the electronic media. When we say wide publicity,we mean that the same shall be done at least thrice after filing of the nomination papers.

After the Judgement of the Apex Court, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had issued a circular to all the Chief

Election Officers of the States and Union Territories apart from the President/ General Secretary of all recognised National and State Political Parties on 10th October, 2018ii. This circular, apart from highlighting the changes made to the format of the affidavits of the contesting candidates, had also directed all candidates with criminal cases against them, either pending or cases of conviction in the past, to publicise this information in newspapers with wide circulation. This direction of the Election Commission was also to all the political parties that set up candidates with criminal cases against them.

Directions to the contesting candidates

 

The ECI had insisted that a format (Format C-1) be followed …“at least on three different dates from the day following the last date for withdrawal of candidatures and up to two days before the date of poll.” While insisting that the order of the ApexCourt be followed in letter and spirit,the ECI had also recommended that “The declaration in newspapers should be published in font size 12 and should be placed suitably in the newspapers…”

The ECI had also directed the contesting candidates to submit copies of the newspapers in which their declarations about criminal cases were published to the District Electoral Officers at the time of filing their election expenditure statements (within 30 days of declaration of results of Assembly Elections).

Contesting candidates are required to “…publish the above declaration on TV channels in the State concerned on at least three different dates…” In order to adhere to the Model Code of Conduct, such declarations should be completed before 48 hours of polling date.

The candidates are also required to declare before the Returning Officers that they have informed their political parties of their criminal antecedents. This declaration has been included in the newly amended format of affidavit (Form-26) for contesting candidates.

 

Directions to the Political Parties

Similar to the format for declaration of criminal antecedents by contesting candidates,the ECI has also recommended a format (Format C-2) for political parties (recognised and unrecognised) to “… publish declaration giving details in this regard, for wide publicity, on their website as well as in TV channels and newspapers having wide circulation  in the State concerned.”

This declaration by political parties is also required to be done at least thrice on three different dates before the date of poll, in the same format and font size recommended for contesting candidates.

Political parties are required to “… submit a report to the Chief Electoral Officer of the State/ UT…” so as to confirm that the direction of the ECI had been followed, along with relevant newspaper cuttings.

The ECI has also stated that “ failure to abide by these directions would be treated as failure/ refusal to carry out a lawful direction of the Commission for the purposes of paragraph -16A of the Election Symbols (Reservation Allotment) Order, 1968.

This release is being circulated by ADR for larger public interest and wider voter awareness. We appeal to the print,  electronic and online media to monitor and highlight the fact whether the above mentioned directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the ECI are being followed and implemented by the Political Parties and their candidates.

Contacts

Media and Journalist Helpline +91 80103 94248

Email: adr@adrindia.org

Maj Gen Anil Verma (Retd.) Head – ADR & NEW +91 8826479910 anilverma@adrindia.org

Prof Jagdeep Chhokar IIM Ahmedabad (Retd)  Founder Member- ADR & NEW +919999620944 jchhokar@gmail.com

Prof Trilochan Sastry IIM Bangalore  Founder Member- ADR & NEW +919448353285, trilochans@iimb.ac.in

 

i For the complete judgement of the Supreme Court: https://adrindia.org/sites/default/files/judgment_on_de-criminalization_25-Sep-2018.pdf

ii For the notification of the ECI dated 10th Oct, 2018: https://eci.nic.in/eci_main1/Current/ImpInsPolPar_10102018.pdf

Courtesy : National Election Watch – http://www.myneta.info  & ADR – Association for Democratic Reforms – http://www.adrindia.org

Special Drive for Voter Enrolment

Another Opportunity to register yourself as a Voter

Special Drive for Voter Registration

9th June to 30th June 2014

 

Mere possession of an Election Photo Identity Card is not sufficient but one has to ensure his name in the electoral roll. Therefore, please ensure your name in the electoral roll.
Please Note : It any elector’s name has got deleted from the electoral roll then he is requested to fill Form 6

  • Persons who complete 18 years on or before 01-01-2014 are eligible for enrollment
  • Persons whose names have been deleted from voters list but claim to be residing at same address can fill Form No. 6 alongwith proof to register themselves afresh.
  • Form can be submitted to the nearest Polling Stations or at Central Polling Station of assembly constituency. For details visit our website or call on call center number

Website : ceo.maharashtra.gov.in   Call : 1800221950

Mumbai City District : electionmumbaicity.org   Call : 1800221951

Mumbai Suburban District :    electionmsd.blogspot.in                           Call : 26414100

Thane District : thaneelection.in

For Search through SMS type <EPIC ID> <SPACE>< VOTER ID CARD 10 DIGIT NO> and send to 9869889966

 

Maharashtra Voter Registration Process

(Use & Share ahead) – Enrollment Period : From 9th to 30th June 2014

Request Your Support to Circulate Voter Registration Process within your Organisation to all Employees/ Peers  under Corporate Social Responsibility.
***Employers & Employees are tax payers to Government , and hence each one bears a moral responsibility tobe  Registered Voter of India  & Cast his/ her Vote in Government Elections***
2014 General Election , we came across many citizens who lost the opportunity to cast their vote & were left dejected seeing others voting & they being deprived from their Voting Right.

The reason for not getting to vote may be different for each, ex/-
1. Voter ID card available, but name missing from Voter list
2. Citizens unaware of the Voter process registration
3. Citizens unaware of the Election offices close to their residential area where they would go & submit their Voter Registration form.

The bottom line is that every citizen who missed to vote due to some or the other technical reason, can now make a effort to get the corrections done.

MAHARASHTRA STATE LEGISLATIVE  ASSEMBLY ELECTION is due in October 2014 , and each one of you residing in Maharashtra can now have a chance immediately to get his/her Voter Registration completed & cast your valuable Vote to select appropriate candidate for representation in Maharashtra elections.

With your good wishes Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) got complete mandate in Lok sabha. Your support to endorse Hon. Shri Narendra Modiji as Prime Minister of India indeed made a Difference. Your best wishes gave us the results in Lok Sabha , and we look forward  for similar support in Maharashtra State Elections for BJP , so that Centre & State can have a positive synergy & work effectively for efficient performance based results.

 

TO CHECK YOUR NAME IN VOTER LIST  login http://103.23.150.139/marathi/

Voter Registration Process:
Step1 : Form to-be filled as per relevancy : (Forms are Downloadable Online).
Form- 6   : Application for inclusion of name in Electoral Roll  (https://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/Downloads/FORM-6.pdf)

Form- 7   : Application for objecting inclusion or seeking deletion of name in Electoral Roll (https://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/Downloads/FORM-7.pdf)
Form- 8   : Application for correction to particulars entered in Electoral Roll                        (https://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/Downloads/FORM-8.pdf)
Form- 8A : Application for transposition ( Transfer of Address )of entry in Electoral Roll      (https://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/Downloads/FORM-8A.pdf)
Form 18  : Claim for inclusion of name in the electoral roll for a Graduates’ Constituency (https://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/Downloads/Form_18.pdf) / https://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/Downloads/Form_18_En.pdf)

Form 19  : Claim for inclusion of name in the electoral roll for a Teachers’ Constituency   (https://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/Downloads/Form_19.pdf) / (https://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/Downloads/Form_19_En.pdf)

Step 2:
Attach Supporting Documents ( Proof  of Age & Residence Proof ) along with  2 recent photographs ( passport size)
* Photo copy of proof tobe Attested & then submitted.
* If  photo copies are unattested, please carry Original Documents  for validation along with photo copies. These documents will be verified by election office & then accepted .

List of Documents required for Proof of Age Document :
i) Birth certificate issued by a Municipal Authorities or district office of the Registrar of Births & Deaths or Baptism certificate; or
ii) Birth certificate from the school (Govt. / Recognised) last attended by the applicant or any other recognised educational institution; or
iii) If a person is class 10 or more pass, he should give a copy of the mark-sheet of class 10 , if it contains date of birth as a proof of date of birth; or
iv) Mark-sheet of class 8 if it contains date of birth; or
v) Mark-sheet of class 5 if it contains date of birth; or
vi) A declaration in prescribed format given in Annexure-1 (http://nadia.nic.in/Forms/Departments/Election/6.PDF) made by either of his parents if the person is not educated till class 10 (In those cases where parental declaration is given as proof of age, the applicant will have to be present himself for verification before BLO/ERO/AERO); or
vii) A certificate of his age given by a sarpanch of the concerned Gram Panchayat or by a member of the concerned Municipal Corporation / Municipal Committee, the person is not educated till class 10 and both the parents are not alive; or
viii) Indian Passport containing date of birth

List of documents required for “Proof of Residence”:
You are an ordinary citizen of the constituency if you have been residing in the constituency for 6 months or more. Fill up the full and complete postal address including PIN code where you are ordinarily residing and want to get registered, in the space provided.

Proof of ordinary residence to be attached are as under:
i) Bank / Kisan / Post Office current Pass Book, or
ii) Applicant’s Ration Card / Passport / Driving License / Income Tax Return filed or Assessment Order, or
iii) Latest Water / Telephone / Electricity / Gas Connection Bill for that address, either in the name of the applicant or that of his / her immediate relation like parents etc., or
iv) Postal department’s posts received / delivered in the applicant’s name at the given address.
v) Aadhar Card

Step : 3
Voter Help Center for Submission of Forms – Weblink :https://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/Lists/VHCs.aspx (Scroll down gives option for Districts, click on it , select your district & check for Election Office nearest to your residence)

Post submission of the relevant form , DO-NOT forget to take Acknowledgement Receipt of form submitted from the Election Officer . This receipt is very important as it will help to follow-up with the Election office in-case, Voter ID does not come in time .

In case of any further help required , please feel free to drop in a mail to me.

Thanx & regards
Divya Dholay
BJP Mumbai Secretary

Bhartiya Janata Party
Vasant Smruti, 3rd Floor, Dada Saheb Phalke Marg, Dadar( East),
Mumbai 400014
Tel : +91 (22) 24183141/3290/1692
email id : divya.dholay@mumbaibjp.org /mumbjp.divyadholay@gmail.com