ECI instruction No. 464/INST/2007-PLN-1 Dated 12 Oct 2007 The Golden Rule An atmosphere in which each and every elector is able to access the polling station without being obstructed or being unduly influenced by anybody is an important prerequisite to a free and fair election.
From the ECI website ECI Communication Plan, introduced during the MP Assembly Elections 2008, proved to be immensely useful to all stakeholders, after being Rolled-Out nationally during the Lok Sabha Election 2009
Communication Plan Communication is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior. It is the meaningful exchange of information between two or group or person. Communication requires a sender, a message, and a recipient. Plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective.
15 ISSUES OF CONCERN ON DAY OF POLL Proper commencement of poll with mock poll conducted and also presence and absence of polling agents Tracking of voting by voters from pre identified vulnerable positions Violation of Model Code of Conduct. Law & Order issues. Redressal of Complaints. Obstruction to the poll process due to technical reasons / EVM malfunctioning and replacement time Any other significant matters during the poll including statistical information like poll percentage. Departure of polling parties after the poll.
16 TIMELY INFORMATION IS STRENGTH THAT CAN ENSURE QUICK RESPONSE TO ANY EXIGENCY THAT MAY ARISE.
17 THIS REQUIRES An alert and sensitive administrative machinery
18 BUT THIS ALSO REQUIRES A mechanism to achieve this goal.
19 THE COMMUNICATION PLAN DRAWN UP TO LINK THE FOLLOWING CHANNELS IN EACH DISTRICT Polling Stations Zonal Officers Sector Magistrates Police Stations Returning Officers District Election Officers
20 ALL OF THEM CONNECTED TO THE Chief Electoral Officer Election Commission of India
21 ALL AVAILABLE MODERN TOOLS OF COMMUNICATION WERE USED Mobile Phones Landline Phones Wireless
22 AND NOT SO MODERN RUNNER who could use a motorcycle or even a bicycle
23 In areas where wireless had to be used, runners between the wireless location and nearest telephone connectivity were used.
25 The name and telephone number of a neutral, reliable contact person at each polling station. The name and telephone number of the nearest police station. The name and telephone number of the Zonal Officer. The name and telephone number of the Sector Magistrate. The identification/ contact of a runner. Any other possible contacts.
26 MP VIDHAN SABHA ELECTIONS POLLING STATION COMMUNICATION PLAN S.no.DISTRICTNAMEDISTRICTNAME AC No. AC Name Polling Station Number Polling Station Name NEAREST COMMUNICATON MODE Land line Phone Mobile No. Wireless (Y/N) Nearest Police Station or Police Chowki STD Code Phone No. Name of village where situated Distance from Polling Station (km) STD Code Phone/ Mobile No. Contd….
27 MP VIDHAN SABHA ELECTIONS POLLING STATION COMMUNICATION PLAN OTHER COMMUNICATION MODE Zonal OfficerSector MagistrateAny other suitable local contact persons/ runners etc. Any other remark or information Zone Number NamePhone/ Mobile Number Sector No. Name Phone/ Mobile Number Name of person/ runner(1) Phone/ Mobile Name of person/ runner(2) Phone/ Mobile
28 COMMUNICATION TEAMS ALSO ORGANIZED AT THE OFFICES OF Returning Officer District Election Officer Chief Electoral Officer
29 District No. & Name : Officers NamePhoneMobile DEO DY.DEO ADM Addl.Collector Jt. Collector Communication Team Leader PhoneMobileEmailWireless Y/N Communication Team Members Details Assembly Constituency No. and Name NamePhoneMobile Email Wireless Y/N These are compiled in the following format :
30 PrO ZO RO level team District level team BLCO SO SO Presiding OfficerBooth Level contact person Sector Officer Zonal officer RO Level team-5 Each team consisting of a leader and 10 members District level team consisting of a leader and 5 teams dedicated to each AC
31 A Website was created by NIC, based on the following: Front End based on ASP (Active Server Pages) for Screen Input and Report Output Design. MS-ACCESS 2000 at the Backend for data storage. Using UNICODE Fonts.
32 The website was put on the www.mp.nic.in server, Login-Password for all districts as well as CEO office were provided for secure log-in. The report options on these points were also provided for the districts as well as the CEO-MP office. Access upto Polling Station Level available to ECI also.
Information regarding the mock poll, being delivered by BLO or PrO. ECI has allowed the PrO to have his mobile in the polling station, but in the silent mode
Zonal Officer Collecting the information pertaining to the conduct of mock poll in the polling stations of his zone
Zonal Officer conveying the information to Returning Officer level communication team regarding the mock poll completion in his zone
Zonal Officer Collecting the Mock Poll Certificate
Returning Officer level Communication team collecting information from Zonal Officers
Returning Officer level Communication team collecting the information from zonal officers and conveying it to District level Communication team
District Level Communication teams, dedicated for each AC, collecting information from RO level communication team and passing on the information to State level Communication team via e-mail, fax and phone
District Level Communication team leader, a class I rank officer, acting as a co- ordinator and facilitator between various levels and also interacting with forest and police department for to and fro movement of information
Information network of Police department Information Center of Police Department, in constant touch with district level communication teameam
45 While each person assigned to the polling station was responsible for his P.S., each team person at other levels was assigned particular polling stations, areas or districts. For information like conduct of mock poll, poll percentages etc, hierarchy was established for movement of information from Booth Level to the CEO office. For information regarding Law & Order issues, etc. any one in the channel could be contacted for current status or for giving directions.
46 Fixed amount sanctioned by State Government for each member of communication team as reimbursement for Telephone/Mobile calls.
47 RESULTS OF COMMUNICATION PLAN Report of conduct of Mock Poll compiled for entire state and made available to Election Commission of India within one hour of commencement of poll. On the day of poll, all complaints received were quickly verified for correctness. Immediate response to Law & Order issues due to timely receipt of information. EVM replacement. Timely receipt of statistical inputs.
48 ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA, NEW DELHI COULD OBTAIN STATUS REPORT FROM ANY POLLING STATION IN MADHYA PRADESH THROUGH JUST A TELEPHONE CALL …….. AND THEY DID.
49 THE COMMUNICATION PLAN ALSO UTILISED ON THE DAY OF COUNTING AT THE DEO, CEO AND ECI LEVELS.
50 SMS & E-MAIL GROUPS SMS and E-mail were formed with all Collectors and officials of CEO office, Bhopal
51 BUT TAKE CARE Precise questions and crisp answers on the communication network are a must to avoid JAMMING of lines, Awareness of shadow areas for mobile network necessary, Mobile and Telephone authorities must be taken into confidence to avoid any breakdowns especially in the landline service, Adequate number of rehearsals are a must for smooth and efficient working of communication plan Try and keep separate phone lines for incoming and outgoing phone calls, where ever possible. Ensure that every person in the hierarchy, who is a part of the CP, is fully supplied with all the contact no. and other details of all the related persons above and below him in the CP hierarchy.
52 USING MEDIA TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION Adequate media coverage of Communication Plan done to ensure compliance by officials of instructions on use of Communication Plan.