President Pratibha Patil will on Monday inaugurate the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Election Commission of India at a function here that would be attended by heads of electoral bodies from 30 countries apart from top political leaders.
Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushama Swaraj are among the prominent people who will be present on the occasion.
“The leaders of all national and state parties have been invited. The audience will also include about 30 heads of electoral bodies from across the world, majority being from the Commonwealth countries including the South Asian neighbours,” said an Election Commission release.
Heads of poll bodies from countries including the US, Russia, Canada, Brazil, Nigeria, Venezuela, Japan, Indonesia and Bangladesh have confirmed their participation.
The president would release a postage stamp, brought out by the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, to mark the anniversary.
A book titled “Reinforcing Indian Democracy -- Lok Sabha Election 2009” would be released by the Vice-President on the occasion.
The 250-page publication is a descriptive presentation with pictures and figures, of the massive electoral exercise that was done for constituting the 15th Lok Sabha.
The Election Commission is holding an international symposium “Sharing the Best Electoral Practices” Jan 27 to exchange experience and expertise in election management.
Many foreign delegations, including that from the Commonwealth, had requested bilateral meetings with the Election Commission. These meetings will take place Jan 28.
The theme for the diamond jubilee year is “Greater Participation for a Stronger Democracy”. There would be year-long events covering areas such as improvement in electors’ registration and expanding coverage of photo-identity cards.
The office of the Election Commission was set up Jan 25, 1950. The rest of the Constitution came into force a day later -- on Jan 26, 1950.