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Bhutanese team in Pondy to study election exercise

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LEARNING BY WATCHING: The delegation from Bhutan at a polling booth in Pondicherry, on Tuesday.
LEARNING BY WATCHING: The delegation from Bhutan at a polling booth in Pondicherry, on Tuesday.

Rajesh Nair

India best place to learn about elections, says team leader

PONDICHERRY: A team of officials from Bhutan, which will go to polls for the first time in 2008, is in Pondicherry to get a firsthand account of how civic elections are conducted.

The nine-member team, seven from the newly constituted Election Department and two from the Ministry of Home Affairs, reached Pondicherry on Monday.

The members visited several booths where votes were being cast.

The team head, Kaka Tsering, Chief of Elections in Bhutan, told The Hindu that his was the fourth team to visit India.

Earlier, three other teams visited Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu during the Assembly elections.

The aim of the visit was to learn, among other things, the preparation of ballot papers, appointment and role of presiding officers and deployment of police, he said.

"We are in the preparatory stage. It is a laborious process for us and India is the best place to learn about elections."

Complex process

"We were a bit surprised to see the complex and detailed procedures involved in [the conduct of] elections here. We wonder how illiterates could understand some of these procedures," he said. The team was impressed with the peaceful conduct of elections.

Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan Dasho Kunzang and his Indian counterpart B.B. Tandon would exchange ideas, he added.

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