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EC forms core panel to identify ‘shortcomings’ after state polls

HT learns that one reform that the commission contemplated was with reference to tackling “sensationalisation” of health issues that can become a sympathy factor in the polls, but it remained in the draft stage.
By Deeksha Bhardwaj, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 14, 2021 02:04 AM IST

The Election Commission of India on Thursday set up a core committee headed by secretary general Umesh Sinha to identify the “learnings and shortcomings” from the poll experience of Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, where polls were held amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in a bid to push for electoral reforms.

“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 & ROs identified by CEOs, Polling officials, BLOs about the issues and challenges faced at the grass root levels,” the commission said in a press release.

HT learns that one reform that the commission contemplated was with reference to tackling “sensationalisation” of health issues that can become a sympathy factor in the polls, but it remained in the draft stage.

The core committee set up by on Thursday will look into the “shortcomings /gaps in ECI regulatory regime”, if any, at the level of the chief electoral officer or district officials. It will explore the possibility of strengthening the legal framework to ensure compliance of guidelines. The committee will submit its report within a month.

The committee will also identify “shortcomings in existing framework in providing protection to electoral machinery from possibility of reprisal after elections”.

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