Election Commission reviews preparedness for general elections

December 18th, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) Gearing up for the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for early next year, the Election Commission of India Thursday concluded its three-day meet with chief electoral officers of six metropolitan cities and states Thursday.“The Election Commission conducted three-day workshop to discus issues connected with conducting elections in metropolitan areas in the country,” an Election Commission official told IANS.

Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy and election commissioners Navin B. Chawla and S.Y. Quraishi reviewed the current status of preparedness.

While on Tuesday the focus of the meet was on election management in metropolitan cities, over the next two days the chief electoral officers briefed the commission about the steps they took when they held elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Mizoram and Rajasthan.

The chief electoral officers of Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and municipal corporations commissioners informed the commission of the problems associated with poll management in their cities, a statement issued here said.

They also talked about the current administrative structure and other strategies for effective handling of the issues connected with election management were discussed.

The commission told them to undertake voter friendly enrolment exercise and how to manage election to enhance voter turnout in their cities.

The poll panel asked the election officers to take initiative to give out all relevant information about the process of enrolment and the exercise of franchise.

The commission also directed them to get ready for the ensuing general election with a detailed checklist for themselves and for every key player in the election management and to take advance measures to ensure elections are conducted in an orderly and free and fair manner.

Gopalswamy last week said the Lok Sabha elections would be conducted in April-May next year.

He also said that the elections would be held just before the end of the government’s tenure.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s term comes to an end by mid-May and the process to elect a new house has to be completed by then, the Election Commission official said.

With only the last phase of the staggered elections in Jammu and Kashmir left, before the assembly elections to six states end, the Election Commission has been keen to get electoral rolls and voter photo identity cards ready before the general elections.

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