Shimla: Shri Navin B. Chawla, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, today inaugurated the photo exhibition, by lighting the lamp on the occasion series of exhibitions displayed throughout India on the Diamond Jubilee Celebration Year 2010, of Election Commission of India (ECI) at the historic gaiety theatre here.
Based on the theme, 'greater participation for a stronger democracy', the exhibition has been jointly organized by ECI, Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) with the support of photo officers of ECI and Chief Electoral Officers of States and Union Territories.
Evincing keen interest in the exhibition, Shri Chawla said that the photo display of various historical moments of general elections over the last 60 years seeks to provide glimpse of India's Electoral Process, which was an integral part of Nations democratic system.
He said that Himachal Pradesh had tough terrain and the election process here was quite challenging task due to its adverse geographical conditions. He said that the Pictures pertaining to Himachal were needed to be incorporated in the albums and video films of ECI, so that the people, may see it to believe the hardships, the people of this hilly State face while exercising their right to franchise.
The aim behind such exhibition was to create awareness among the masses and coming generation about the history of democratic set up and to understand the right of franchise and its socio cultural process in building up the Nation. The exhibition showcased glimpses of Himachals post election process, including the highest Polling Stations of Hikkam (15000 ft.) in Lahaul and Spiti and the aged voters of the State.
Later, talking to mediapersons he said that in Himachal we atleast needed one Booth level officer (BLO) for one polling booth. As of now, we have as many as 800, BLO's less than what is required. Shri Chawla said that it was not possible for one BLO to look after two or three booths. He urged the Government to ensure one BLO for each booth and raise their remuneration as well.
He said that the process of finalization and publication of electoral rolls in Himachal Pradesh should be completed by 15th September, 2010.
Shri Chawla said that few ideas were being evolved to bring attitudinal changes in the Election Process and as a result De-Duplication Software had also been developed.
Shri Suresh Bhardwaj, MLA. Smt. Madhu Sood, Mayor, Smt. Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary Tourism, Shri Anil Khachi, Chief Electoral Officer, and officers of the ECI were also present on the occasion.