German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visits Election Commission of India
She personally cast a vote through EVM during a demonstration of EVM-VVPAT functioning organised by ECI for the delegation.
Rajendra S Markuna
New Delhi: A German delegation led by German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock met chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar and election commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel at Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The German foreign minister was accompanied by four Members of Parliament namely Agnieszka Brugger, Thomas Erndl, Ulrich Lechte, Andreas Larem, Dr. Philipp Ackermann, German ambassador to India and others.
Speaking on the occasion, CEC Kumar said that the idea of democracy is deeply rooted in India’s historical context and traditions. Giving an overview of the magnitude of Indian elections, he informed the German delegation of the detailed exercise that ECI conducts for over 950 million voters across 1.1 million polling stations, co-opting 11 million polling personnel ensuring robust electoral processes for conducting free, fair, inclusive, accessible and participative elections.
He emphasised that the ECI ensures disclosures and participation of political parties at every stage. Kumar said apart from the logistical challenges, the disruptive impact of fake social media narratives potentially affecting free and fair elections is fast emerging as a common challenge for most election management bBodies.
Te German foreign minister while interacting with the commission appreciated the vast exercise of electoral management by the ECI in the largest democracy in the world given the challenges of diverse geography, culture & electorate in India.
The minister was briefed about the extensive use of technology by the ECI in the conduct of elections broadly under three verticals of voters’ participation, political parties/candidates and election machinery logistics. She personally cast a vote through EVM during a demonstration of EVM-VVPAT functioning organised by ECI for the delegation. She, along with the MPs, keenly observed the strong security features of standalone EVMs along with rigorous administrative protocols on handling, movement, storage, operations and the process for participation of political parties at every stage of electoral processes involving EVMs.
Both India and Germany are members of the International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Stockholm and the Community of Democracies, Warsaw.