President Patil to open ECI Diamond Jubilee celebrations today

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (ANI): President Pratibha Patil will on Monday inaugurate the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Election Commission of India (ECI) at Vigyan Bhawan here to honor the institution that has endeavored to keep lucidity in the election process of the country.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi are also expected to attend the function along with Vice President Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani and BJP President Nitin Gadkari will also be present at the function.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and Communist Party of India (CPI) General Secretary AB Bardhan will also attend the function.

The 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.

The representatives from all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries except Sri Lanka and 80 envoys have already accepted the invitation, said ECI sources.

On the occasion, President Patil would release a postage stamp, brought out by the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, to mark this historic anniversary.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari will release a book titled "Reinforcing Indian Democracy - Lok Sabha Election 2009" to mark the occasion and the first copy of this 250-page publication would be given to President Patil.

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.

Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla said, the tradition has been followed for the last 60 years and it would continue.

The ECI will celebrate 60 years of its constitution today. The office of the Election Commission was set up on January 25, 1950, while the rest of the Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.

It is also significant that Article 324 that created the Commission was one of those exceptional provisions, which were given effect on November 26, 1949. (ANI)

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