Delegation from the Election Commission of India, led by Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Dharmendra Sharma, visited Sikkim on February 11th and 12th, 2024 to assess the state's readiness for the upcoming General Elections to Lok Sabha and Sikkim Legislative Assembly in 2024.
On February 11th the delegation held a meeting with State Nodal Officers from various Enforcement Agencies responsible for Election Expenditure Monitoring. Discussions centered around the Action Plan for the General Elections 2024 focusing on curbing the movement of cash, liquor, drugs, freebies, and other materials that could influence voters. The officers were directed to strengthen their monitoring mechanisms and share intelligence for effective coordination.
Subsequently, a meeting with top state officials, including the Chief Secretary, DGP, and others, addressed overall preparedness, manpower availability, facilities in polling stations, law and order, police deployment, enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct, and budget provisions. The Chief Secretary and DGP assured the delegation of the state government's actions to ensure peaceful and smooth elections.
On February 12th, the delegation met with District Collectors and Superintendents of Police to review district-level preparedness. Detailed presentations were made on electoral rolls, printing of EPIC, identification of critical polling stations, manpower training, facilities in polling stations, strong room arrangements, and election expenditure monitoring. The Sr. DECs emphasized adherence to ECI instructions and performance benchmarks.
The importance of inclusiveness and transparency in electoral rolls was highlighted, urging focus on women voters, young voters, Persons with Disabilities, and other vulnerable sections. The delegation stressed the need for accessible voting facilities and informed about IT-based applications for General Elections 2024.
In a final meeting with the Chief Electoral Officer and State Police Nodal Officer, the delegation discussed the overall scenario of preparedness and law & order maintenance during elections. Emphasis was placed on training and capacity building for error-free elections.
The Senior Deputy Election Commissioners concluded by urging all members of the election machinery to gear up for free and fair elections, ensuring seamless coordination among all agencies involved in facilitating smooth and peaceful General Elections 2024 in Sikkim.
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