Significant facts outlining overall scenario in South district with regard to General Elections 2019

Namchi, 16 Mar (IPR): Some significant facts outlining the overall scenario with regards to General Elections 2019 to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies in Sikkim, the particular details of South District is that there are a total of eight Assembly Constituencies namely 09 Barfung, 10 Poklok – Kamrang, 11 Namchi – Singhithang, 12 Melli, 13 Namthang – Rateypani, 14 Temi -Namphing, 15 Rangyang-Yangang, 16 Tumin-Lingi which is located in the South district.

According to the South Election Department, the total number of voters for male is 58122 and female is 56684 totaling to 114806 as compared to the total number of voters during the General Election in the year 2014 which was 100643. It may be mentioned here that a cumulative number of 53 polling stations has been identified as critical in the district.

District Election Officer (DEO), South, Mr. Ragul K., informed about the activities and development for the ensuing General Elections and said that the Notice of Election will be issued on 18th March 2019. He informed that the nomination papers are to be delivered by a candidate or his proposer to the office of the DEO at District Administrative Centre, Namchi at the given stipulated time and date. He also added that the candidates are to submit Affidavit, Form 26, Oath of Affirmation, SC/ST Certificate in case of candidates belonging to the SC/ST category, certified copy of Electoral Roll (ER) and passport sized photos for printing photos in ballot paper.

Further, the DEO stated that the candidate is required to open one separate Bank Account in his name or jointly with his election agent before filing nominations and this account number has to be intimated in writing to the DEOs Office while filing nomination.

The candidate is required to make a security deposit of Rs.10,000/-only in cash or in the form of TDR for contesting in an Assembly Constituency. A candidate belonging to SC/ST category is required to make a security deposit of only half the amount mentioned above.

Additionally, he informed that sample form are being distributed and the same can be collected from DAC, South.

Two day training for officials and staff comprising of the Expenditure Monitoring Committee for the General Elections 2019 concluded

Gangtok, 15 March(IPR): A two day training for officials and staff comprising of the Expenditure Monitoring Committee for the General Elections 2019 concluded today.

Held at the District Collectorate Complex, the training was conducted by Assistant Collector / East Mr Rohan Agawane with assistance from the Accounts Officer.

The training was conducted in 3 batches, each comprising of six teams of Assistant Expenditure Officers, Accounting Teams, Flying Squads, Static Surveillance Teams, Video Surveillance Teams and Video Viewing Teams.

The trainer, Mr Rohan Agawane informed that the training was conducted primarily to brief and acquaint the expenditure monitoring team members on the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for the elections and strict Adherence to the Model Code of Conduct. It was further informed that all the teams falling under the committee were imparted hands-on training sessions on correctly filling in the daily report formats and submitting them to the office of the District Election Officer and their concerned officials/heads.More than 100 trainees were part of the two day training programme.

District Election Officer, East has informed that Nomination Papers are available now in District Administrative Centre with Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Gangtok in Room No. 210.

Political Parties or the candidates maybtake copies of Nominations and Affidavit (form-26) from the office and filing of nominations will be allowed from 18th to 25th March between 11 AM to 3PM except on public holidays. As per Election Commission of India instructions, public holidays also includes fourth Saturday of a month.

The nominations for Sikkim Parliamentary Constituency and 7 Assembly Constituencies No. 23 to 28 &. 32 Sangha Constituency shall be received in the Chamber of District Collector, East and for Assembly Constituencies No. 17 to 22 shall be received in the Chamber of Addl. District Collector, East who are Returning Officer for the respective constituencies.

Three days long District level “School Sports Meet” 2018-19 was started from 14th of March in North district

Mangan, March 15 (IPR):
Three days long District level “School Sports Meet” 2018-19 was started from 14th of March in North district. The meet will be concluded on 16th of March 2019. Altogether eight different disciplines such as Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Football, Karate, Table Tennis and Taekwondo were played at different venues of the district. Said sports meet was organized by Human Resource Development department in collaboration with Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Government of Sikkim. The meet was organized for the students of below 17 years of age.
Table Tennis, Taekwondo and Badminton were played at Mangan Nagar Panchayat Hall. Final match of district level Table Tennis for the boy’s category was won by Chungthang Block and in girl’s category Mangan Block won the match. In total 34 students from four Block had participated in Table Tennis. Similarly in Taekwondo 7 boys and 7 girls were selected for state level meet.
Final match of the district level Football won by Mangan Block in both categories, which was played on 14th of March at Mangan, Public ground. District level boxing will be played at Mangshila on 16th of March.
As informed by Mrs. Janim Lepcha, Deputy Director, Sports and Youth Affairs Department, North that district level Sports Meet was participated by the students of different school from four Blocks of the district. She further said that the selected players in different disciplines of the district level meet will perform in the forthcoming state level sports meet 2018-19 which will be held at State capital, Gangtok from 18th–22nd March.

Voters Facilitation Centre set up at MG Marg for the general public

Gangtok, 14 Mar (IPR): As the general elections are springing up with much enthusiasm among the voters and curiosity among the first time voters, a Voters Facilitation Centre has been set up at M.G. Marg in Gangtok in order to sensitise the public regarding any queries related to their respective electoral polls and to provide requisite information.

More than 200 people have visited the facilitation centre and availed facilities regarding the EVMs, VVPATs and online verification of names in voters list.

The Voter Facilitation Centre is being managed by staff of Office of CEO, Balwakhani and DEO, East.

DEO urges Sector Magistrates to visit respective designate areas of East district to ensure proper implementation of MCC

Gangtok, 14 Mar (IPR): Keeping in view the forthcoming General Election 2019, the District Election Officer/District Collector (East), Shri Kapil Meena, held a meeting with Sector Officer/ Magistrates of East district today at the DAC conference hall.

During the meeting, the DEO asked the Sector Magistrates to visit all the respective designate areas of East district so as to ensure proper implementation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC). He sought for smooth coordination between Sector Officers, Sector Police Officers, Sub-Sector Police Officers and staffs for proper coordination and cooperation.

The officials were also asked to respond instantly to complaints received through phone calls or in written form. The Sector Magistrates are also required to update assured minimum facilities at Polling stations and work as overall in-charge for all Election activities in the respective sectors.

Earlier, ADC (East), Shri Bharani Kumar, spoke in detail about the various roles and responsibilities of Sector Magistrates during pre-poll, poll eve and poll day for the entire election process. In his address he mainly focused on the guidelines laid by the Election Commission of India which includes the duties of Sector Magistrates after the MCC is in place.

Shri Bharani explained each and every step of the polling process do’s and don’ts and asked all Sector Magistrates to ensure smooth election on April 11 next month.

The meeting was followed by hands on training of EVMs and VVPATs so as to accustom them in preparation for the polling day.

DC East/DEO chairs co-ordination meet with expenditure monitoring related organisations

Gangtok, 14 Mar (IPR): Keeping in line with the Model Code of Conduct for the upcoming General Elections, 2019, the District Collector/East District, Shri Kapil Meena, who is also the District Election Officer, chaired a co-ordination meeting with all the expenditure monitoring related organisations.

Held at the office of the District Collector/ East, the meeting was attended by officials from the State Excise Department, the Income Tax Department and officials and representatives from public and private sector banks.

The core aim of the meeting was to apprise the financial organizations about the various guidelines regarding financial transactions that have come to effect since the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct.

The DEO informed that 1 Expenditure Observer and 12 Assistant Expenditure Observers for all the 12 Constituencies in East District have been appointed for effective vigilance and monitoring of all individual expenditures during the elections. He gave directions to the banks to submit daily transaction reports in a consolidated format and that all unusual and suspicious activities exceeding Rs. 1 lakh are to be reported to the office of the DEO.

Other guidelines in respect to the bank accounts of candidates and political parties, priority assistance in opening up of new election related accounts and delivering of cash in vans by third party agencies, are to be strictly adhered to, informed the DEO.

In regards to information of suspicious or illegal cash, foreign currency and fake Indian currency notes found during the elections, the office of the DEO would be the first point of contact for such instances, it was informed.

The DEO also briefed the officials from the Excise Department on the use and mis-use of liquor during elections, various possible MCC violations and the need to monitor expenditure. He further directed them to appoint Nodal Officers to be attached with Flying Squads and Static Surveillance Teams and also compile daily reports and submit them to the office of the DEO.

In conclusion, the DEO solicited the support and co-operation of the Banks and other financial institutions to ensure that there is no violation of the Model Code Of Conduct and the election process is carried out smoothly and successfully.

DC East/DEO holds meet with printers & publishers held at Zilla Bhawan

Gangtok, 14 Mar (IPR): A meeting with printers and publishers was held at the conference hall of Zilla Bhawan today.

District Election Officer/District Collector (East), Shri Kapil Meena, spoke in-depth about the rules and regulations which needs to be followed by the concerned printers and publishers. He said that all political advertisements on electronic media will require pre-certification from the MCMC. There has also been a strict vigil on any cases of fake news or MCC violations on social media sites.

Shri Meena informed that every printed material should have the name of the printer and publisher mentioned compulsory failing which, case can be registered for violation of MCC rules.

DPO (Zilla), Shri Yadav Krishna Sharma, said that we are all governed by the same Act and requested everyone present to follow the rules of ECI and avoid violation of MCC.

At the end, the DEO requested for cooperation from everyone present for the smooth and fair conduct of the upcoming General Elections.

Day 4 of training for the 2nd batch of Presiding and Polling Officers I successfully concludes

Gyalshing, 14 Mar (IPR): The fourth day of the 2nd round of training for the 2nd batch of Presiding and Polling Officers I was successfully concluded at Conference Hall of Zilla Panchayat Bhawan in Gyalshing and Conference Hall of SDM Office in Soreng simultaneously today.

The training dealt with an extensive in depth discussion along with the questions and answers session through which trainees cleared their doubts and queries with the master trainers in regards to the EVM and VVPAT sealing, testing, filling of forms, Presiding dairy and other similar topics in relations to the conduction of Polls.

An in depth explanation on the procedures to be followed after the successful conduction of the Poll was also done. Further the importance of Mock Poll and the Hand Book of the Presiding Officers were also stressed which need to be followed by the Presiding and Polling Officers.

Master trainers for the training in Gyalshing were Shri Tushar G. Nikhare, SDM (HQ), Smt KSC Tongden, DE Power, and Shri Santosh Alley, Senior Welfare Officer.

Similarly for Soreng, master trainers were Shri Himmat Rai, SDM Soreng and Shri Dillip Sharma, DCSO (West).

A total of 77 trainees were present at Gyalshing for the training and similarly at Soreng there were 46 trainees.

Coordination meet held with representatives of political parties of North district

Mangan, 14 Mar (IPR): In connection with General Election 2019 and to promulgate the Model Code Of Conduct (MCC) in the district, District Magistrate-cum-RO, North, Shri Raj K Yadav, alongside Superintendent of Police, North, Shri Kunzang Dorjee Shangderpa, and SDM, Mangan (HQ), Shri Samdup Bhutia, conducted a coordination meeting with representatives of all political parties of the district here at the DC’S chamber today.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of Sikkim Democratic Front and Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party.

Briefing on the election process, RO, Mr. Yadav informed about the process that are applied to the political parties for obtaining the prior permission to use any venue of election campaign. He said that the political parties will have to obtain prior permission from office of the Superintendent of Police for rally and use of Mike system.

School ground will be allowed only after 4 pm on working days and on holiday it will be open for election campaign from 10 am to 4 pm. He informed to the representatives that school and public ground can be avail after duly having Bank Receipt of Rs. 5000 for standard and Rs. 2500 for small ground for election event.

He also briefed in detail about duties of the Sector Magistrate (SM) and Video Surveillance team (VST. Keeping in mind of clean environment he urged representatives of political party for minimum use of plastic during party meeting.

It is to be mentioned here that the Notification for nomination of candidates will issued on 18th March and last date for nomination will be on 25th March. On 26th March there will be scrutiny of candidature of the candidate and last date for withdrawal of candidature will be on 28th March. Polling will be held on 11th of April and counting of vote will be held on 23rd of May. Candidates can file their nomination from 11 am to 3 pm during working days from 18th to 25th of March, he informed.

The RO said that only five persons including candidate will be allowed to enter to the RO Office during the filing of nomination. He informed that EVM and VVPAT will be kept in strong room with full security under CCTV surveillance. Further, first and second EVM commissioning will be held in the presence of all party representatives.

Superintendent of Police, North, Mr. Shangderpa, said that during public meeting 10 vehicles will be allowed at a time in one convey. He requested all the party representatives to inform about the route which they used for mobile van for disseminating their programmes to the SP Office and not to engage any open hooded vehicles during election campaign as to avoid any unforeseen incidence. The SP requested them to co-operate each other for free, fair and credible election.

Briefing session for Flying Squads, Static Teams, Assistant Expenditure Observers & Video Surveillance Teams on EEM

Namchi, 14 Mar (IPR): Consequent upon the announcement of General Elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies in the State, a briefing session for Flying Squads, Static Teams, Assistant Expenditure Observers and Video Surveillance Teams on Election Expenditure Monitoring (EEM) was held at DAC Conference Hall today.

The session was chaired by DC cum DEO (South), Mr. Ragul K., Also present were SDM (HQ), Mr. Hemant Rai, SDM (Jorethang), Mr. Tshering Bhutia, and the resource person for the session was nodal officer for Expenditure Monitoring, Mr. Sunil Sharma.

Addressing the session, DEO Mr. Ragul K. spoke about the importance of this training which he said was the second round training for the various election teams. He underlined that smooth co-ordination between the different teams is extremely imperative for smooth conduct of the General Elections, 2019.

The DEO also explained about cVigil, an Android-based mobile application designed by the Election Commission of India to help voters to register complaints relating to the violations of Model Code of Conduct if any, and urged the attendees to download the application. Additionally, the DEO also emphasized the officials to be aware of the guidelines of Model Code of Conduct.

Resource person, Mr. Sunil Sharma gave details on EEM and underscored that the officials should be vigil at monitoring expenses carried by the candidates, political parties and briefed about the different kinds of materials that can be detained by the Election officials. He also informed about the ceiling limit given to the candidates and updated that the election teams need to monitor the expenditure of miscellaneous items which will be utilized by candidates during the ensuing elections.

In addition, Mr. Sharma cited various examples wherein candidates were disqualified for contesting elections due to non- disclosure of election expenses. Moreover, he emphasized that the teams should keep a strict check on legal, illegal election expenses and brought light to major legal provisions related to EEM, provision of Indian Penal Code, 1860, star campaigners, rally expenses and inspection of accounts.