Panaji: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday said that systems are in place to ensure free and fair elections for the State legislative assembly.
“The ECI reiterates its commitment to conduct Free fair, peaceful, accessible, inducement free and COVID-19 free elections so that it should be safe all the voters,” Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra told reporters in Panaji.
He said that the term of current Goa Legislative Assembly is due to expire by March 15, 2022.
He said that Goa has always been reporting high percentage of voting. “In 2017 total 81.21 per cent. In 2012, it was 82.25 per cent,” Chandra said referring to both the assembly elections.
He said that during the recent exercise, total 30,598 new voters were enrolled, of which 16,807 first time voters.
“There are 11.56 lakhs will be total voters in the state,” he said.
Chandra said that keeping in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing norms, the maximum number of electorals is reduced from 1500 to 1000 per polling booth in Goa due to which additional 60 polling stations have been introduced taking the total number to 1722 polling stations in whole of Goa.
He said that around 100 polling stations would be absolutely managed by women. “This will help women electorals to come with confidence to these stations. At least 4-5 polling station would be managed by persons with disabilities,” he added.
The ECI, Chandra said, the facility has been introduced for the people with more than 80 years of age allowing them to vote from home.
“Facility of casting vote at home for 80 plus is optional, if they want to come to polling booth they can do,” he said adding that there are 30,000 such people who are above 80 years of age in Goa.
Chandra said that the voting at home would be videographed and the vote would be kept in a secret ballot.
The political parties will have to publish criminal criminal antecedent of the candidates on the newspapers, television channels and also on their websites, he said.
“Political parties will also have to give reason why they have chosen him and why they could not find a clean candidate,” Chandra said.