Coronavirus (COVID-19)Election

Bihar election keenly watched by the world community, says CEC Sunil Arora

 By Team BiharConnect

Assembly elections in Bihar, which is scheduled to be held in three phases – October 28, November 3 & 7 are keenly watched by the world community as it would be the largest democratic exercise in the world to be held amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said on Monday.

Arora was speaking at a briefing meeting for observers to be deployed for the forthcoming Bihar Legislative Assembly Elections as also bye elections across the states. The meeting was organized by the Election Commission of India.

This meeting was uniquely positioned as a blend of virtual and physical gathering with more than 700 General, Police and Expenditure Observers joining virtually from 119 locations across the country and about 40 Observers posted in Delhi joining in person.

Speaking to the Observers, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora gave a global perspective on the impact of Covid 19 on election schedules around the world and the detailed deliberation and assessments done by ECI before taking the decision to conduct elections in Bihar.

He reiterated ECI’s commitment to conduct an election that is free, fair, transparent, ethical and also Covid Safe. He stated that the strength of a democracy rests in its primary stakeholder- the voter.

“All efforts must be made to instill confidence in the voter to come to the polling station on election day to cast her/his vote safely and freely,” Arora said. He called upon the Observers to assume the role of friend, philosopher and guide to the local election machinery, guide and hand-hold them and help resolve their issues. He lauded the commitment and dedication of some of the special expenditure observers in the past who made sure that level playing field was made available during election. Such observers, by virtue of their formidable domain knowledge and absolute impartiality, attest to the faith that was reposed in ECI as an institution by the founding fathers of our Constitution.

Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra emphasised the significance of role of Observers. He pointed out that two Special Expenditure Observers have already been appointed by the Commission and if required other such Special Observers would also be appointed as the election process progresses. Chandra pointed out that familiarisation with laid down instructions specifically the highlights of the broad guidelines issued by the Commission on 21st August, 2020 as also by the CEO Bihar should be strictly adhered to. He advised officers to pro-actively redress complaints and ensure impartially while discharging their duties.

Speaking on the occasion, Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar drew the attention of the officers that as Observers they have a statutory duty to perform on behalf of Election Commission of India. He said the officers should always bear in mind they are the actual face of ECI on the ground. He reminded the officers that Bihar Elections needs to be showcased to the world as all attention is focussed on these Elections. He said the Observers play an important role in guiding, mentoring and advising the field teams.

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