New Delhi, Jan.19 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will inaugurate the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Election Commission of India (ECI) at Vigyan Bhawan here on January 25.
The Vice-President,Mohammad Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Speaker of Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar, Union Minister of Law and Justice (M.Veerappa Moily), the Minister for Communications and Information Technology (A.Raja), Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha (Sushma Swaraj), Chairperson of the UPA (Sonia Gandhi) and Convener of NDA (Sharad Yadav) will also be present on the occasion.
The office of the Election Commission was set up on January 25, 1950, while the rest of the Constitution came into force a day after (January 26, 1950).
It is also significant that Article 324 that created the Commission was one of those exceptional provisions, which were given effect as early as on November 26, 1949.
Leaders of all national and state parties have been invited. The audience will also include about 40 heads of electoral bodies from across the world, majority being from the Commonwealth countries including the South Asian neighbours.
Former President, Vice-President and Prime Ministers, the Council of Ministers, constitutional and other dignitaries, former Chief Election Commissioners, members of diplomatic corps are also among those invited.
The President would release a postage stamp, brought out by the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, to mark this historic anniversary.
A book titled "Reinforcing Indian Democracy - Lok Sabha Election 2009" would be released by Vice-President Ansari and the first copy of this 250-page publication would be given in the hands of the President.
The volume is a descriptive presentation with pictures and figures, of the massive electoral exercise that was done for constituting the 15th Lok Sabha. The President will also view a photo exhibition that provides a perspective on 60 years of the Election Commission.
Followed by the inaugural function, the ECI will hold an international symposium on January 27 with the theme "Sharing Best Electoral Practices".
There would be yearlong events/ programmes covering areas like improvement in electors' registration, expanding the coverage of Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPICs), voter-friendly measures, generating awareness among voters, mobilization of the youth and civil society partnership. (ANI)