New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar on Thursday pointed out the harm done by some of the surveys and ranking agencies and said that a flawed report causes more damage to the credibility of election management bodies (EMBs).
“The pioneering work of EMBs does not find mention in these surveys and rankings done by some organisations and countries with low inclusivity are ranked high. The flawed report causes more damage to the credibility of EMBs,” said the CEC.
The CEC was speaking on the pressing challenges before the EBMs at the international conference on the theme ‘Inclusive Elections and Elections Integrity’. The CEC urged the participating EMBs to come up with essential parameters and standards which should guide such surveys.
Talking about the inclusivity, the CEC pointed out that India has 460 million women voters, which is almost equal to the number of men voters. In the last general elections in 2019, more women voted than men. This is the level of inclusion that India has been able to achieve, he said.
In his address, Anup Chandra Pandey, Election Commissioner, said that the EC has been working for inclusive elections under the premise of ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’.
Pandey said that our flagship voter education programme SVEEP connects with over 950 million electors spread over more than one million polling stations across the country.
Arun Goel, Election Commissioner, said that inclusive elections are a critical building block of ‘elections integrity’.
He added that many sections of voters, especially the women, transgenders, PwDs, senior citizens, service voters, migrants, ethnic minorities and some other vulnerable sections of the society do face barriers in electoral participation and EMBs/EAs have an important role to play in inclusivity for such categories of the citizenry.
As part of the ‘Summit for Democracy’ year of action, India through the Election Commission is leading the ‘Democracy Cohort on Election Integrity’ to share its knowledge, technical expertise and experiences with other democracies of the world.