Staff Reporter / New Delhi
Heads and Representatives of 20 Election Management Bodies from across the World have arrived in New Delhi to witness the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
The countries include Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, Georgia, Kenya, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Romania, Russia, Srilanka, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.
Addressing the participants, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora reiterated that the Commission is firmly committed to ensuring free, fair and robust elections in the country.
He added that the objective and intention of the Commission is to always keep learning from the experiences of the past for necessary course corrections for the future.
Mr Arora said further efforts would be made to make the election process more robust, ethical, inclusive, accessible and participative. He also announced that Committees will be set up to study best practices from the States, document issues and challenges faced.
According to an official release, senior officials of the Election Commission made comprehensive presentations to apprise the foreign delegates on the role and responsibilities of the Commission of India and various challenges in planning and organizing elections in the world’s largest democracy.
The delegates visited various polling stations in North West Delhi, East Delhi, Chandni Chowk. South Delhi and Gurgaon through the day to see the polling-in –action and the festive air that surrounds polling. They visited some polling stations which are managed entirely by women polling staff as also some model polling stations with the best of facilities for the voters. The delegates also interacted with the Chief electoral officer of Delhi to get the perspective on elections from the state level. They also visited the Election Museum at CEO office Delhi .The close of polling and the protocols that accompany the sealing of the machines was another aspect that the delegates will be exposed to during the day.
The conduct of elections in India is an exercise gigantic in scale and complexity. On May 11, 2019 the eve of elections to the sixth phase, the delegates visited South Delhi, East Delhi, Chandnichowk, West Delhi and Gurgaon Parliamentary constituencies to get a glimpse of the poll preparedness activities, dispatch of polling parties and the massive logistic arrangements put in place to ensure a free, fair and festive elections. They interacted with the district level poll machinery headed by the DEO/RO .Thereafter the delegation visited India international Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM), the new training and research campus of ECI located at Dwarka which has the capacity to train close to 900 personnel at one go. This state of the art campus will host several international and domestic training programs of ECI. The delegates were very keen to understand the entire panorama of election events in India. On May 12, 2019 they witnessed conduct of mock poll early in the morning at various polling stations at Dwarka. They interacted with the polling officials and understood the procedures and processes that make our elections so credible and transparent.