Poll panel meet today

Ranchi, Jan. 31: The state is ready to host a two-day conference of state election commissioners from tomorrow. Governor Syed Ahmed will inaugurate the meet being organised by the state election commission.

Chief Election Commissioner of India V.S. Sampath will be the guest of honour at the conference where election commissioners of 21 states and senior officials of Union panchayati raj, urban development and law ministries will deliberate on educating electorates to exercise franchise judiciously; strictly execute the model code of conduct; use revised electoral rolls et al.

"The Jharkhand state election commission will show detailed presentations on the country's new model panchayat elections act and analyse the revised census figures. The discussion will also dwell on new boundaries of village panchayats in tune with recommendations by the Delimitation Commission," said state election commissioner S.D. Sharma.

The Delhi state election commissioner will talk about the need for electoral reforms while his Gujarat counterpart will discuss ways to introduce online voting system. Common electoral rolls for Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and urban civic bodies and rural panchayati raj bodies elections figure on the agenda of the Haryana state election commissioner.

"The key focus area will be to introduce continued dialogues on electoral reforms. This subject has been proposed by Jharkhand State Election Commission. Election commissioners of different states and key officials involved in the poll process can also share their experiences with each other through group discussions, which will be of great help while preparing new regulations," Sharma added.

The conference will also include a photo exhibition on the state election commission's experiences during the 2010 panchayat elections, which was held in Jharkhand after 32 years. In the evening, the governor will host a dinner for guests at Raj Bhavan.

With the urban civic polls due within six months or so, considerable significance is being attached to this conference. In fact, the governor, in his Republic Day address, had reiterated his commitment to strengthening the panchayati raj bodies.

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