ECI to set up body to monitor common database

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 19 (UNI) The Election Commission of India(ECI) has agreed to set up an Apex body to monitor and pursue with the implementation of a common database in the country.

Briefing newsmen after the 8th All India Conference of State Election Commissioners (SEC), Standing Committee Chairman on SEC Inderjit Khanna said the ECI has agreed to take up an immediate pilot study in two or three assembly constituencies in each state in this regard.

The body, to be set up with representatives from ECI, SEC and the ministries of Panchayati Raj and Urban Development department, would monitor the implementation of the database, he said.

The conference, Mr Khanna said, urged for Central funding for strengthening the SECs. The guidelines has been prepared by the standing committee and submitted to the Panchayati Raj department.

He also appealed to the Finance ministry to apply mind and consider the proposal.

He further said it was agreed at the conference to have a regular numbering of houses at least in the municipal areas which would be valid for ten years.

The ECI, Mr Khanna said had also agreed to share the software with the SEC to identify duplicate voters and eliminate their names from all but one constituency.

On the difficulties of the lack of administrative and financial autonomy, the SEC conference urged the state governments to provide all necessary support to the SECs to enable them to function as an autonomous institution in the light of the judgment of the Apex court in October 2006.

Mr Khanna said the SEC conference also decided to request the Urban Development ministry to urgently examine the draft model bill on elections to municipal bodies and circulate its findings to the state governments for legislative action.

On the two child norms adopted in some states in the panchayat elections, Mr Khanna said the standing Committee has already recommended it in its draft model bill, which has been approved by the Panchayati raj ministry, but was left to the state legislature for implementation.

He said some states had already implemented the two child norm as criteria to contest the election in panchayat bodies adding that it required a political decision to accept such norm collectively.

UNI

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