Encouraged by the success of recently concluded general elections, the Election Commission has decided to further improve the election process by revolutionizing the existing system.
In a press conference the Election commissioner explained some of the salient features of the proposed system. Under the new system , elections will be conducted in many phases.
The election process for the next general election of 2019 is going to start in a month. Every weekend, elections will be held in two Lok Sabha constituencies, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.This way elections to all the 540 constituency will be held over the next five years in 270 phases. This, the election commissioner explained that will ensure peaceful and smooth conducting of elections.
A special security force of 50000 will be raised which will cover the election duties .This force will move from constituency to constituency every week covering election duty only.The elections are going to be held in different states every week in a staggered manner so that no state will have two consecutive weeks of polling days.
As there is a gap of a week between polling days, the security forces will have enough time to move from state to state.These personnel will be trained specially to stop booth capturing, identification of poll violations and such election related offenses. Such a dedicated force will ensure safe conduct of polls. The officers of this cadre will be appointed through UPSC civil service exam.
The Chief Election Commissioner explained that most of the other features of the present system will retained without modification. He said the model code of conduct will come into force starting next week.
When one of the reporters, questioned, if enforcement of model code of conduct so early is going to affect Government functioning, and implementation of welfare programs, the Chief Election Commissioner agreed this is a possibility.
However he said, this is a small price to pay in a democracy where conducting peaceful and fair elections is of utmost importance.
The commissioner said, all the ballot boxes will held in district treasuries under round the clock security till the polls are completed in all the 540 constituencies over the next five years.Counting will be done a few days before the expiry of the term of the 2014 parliament so that a new Govt can be in place by the due date.
When queried, if guarding ballot boxes for this long to cause wastage of precious resources, the Commissioner disagreed and said, Instead this will generate enormous employment opportunities.
One of the reporters asked whether this is going to encourage multiple voting by the same persons, as the ink may wear off in a few weeks.The commissioner said voters will be tattooed the year of election on their forearm , so that they wont be able to vote again till the next five years.
The Commissioners said that opinion polls are permitted only till next month when first phase is going to be held.The exit polls will be allowed only on the day before the counting date in 2019. The publication of any opinion polls in the interim five years will strictly prohibited and any violations will be severely punished.
Special courts will be set up in every state to ensure that the election related offenses are properly investigated and tried expeditiously so that a verdict is available in a timely fashion with in five years.