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Elections 2014 took 18 months of planning

The largest size of poll staff was deployed in this election--6,69,000 poll officials across 543 constituencies entirely drawn from the central and state bureaucracy

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Poll, elections

have received worldwide praise for the peaceful transition of power in India and their smooth conduct but do you know behind their execution there was a "quietly efficient" planning that started 18 months in advance.

The sheer size of the Indian electors is mind-boggling to most outsiders--830.5 million voters, 9,00,000 polling stations, 8,000 candidates across 543 constituencies in the world's largest democracy that demands involvement of men and machine of a scale unthinkable anywhere else in the world.

"This election has truly been a logistical achievement. Planning for this major event began over 18 months ago, and the leadership was clearly focused on delivering an efficient, quiet and high quality election with minimum glitches," says a top Commission source.

The largest size of poll staff was deployed in this election--6,69,000 poll officials across 543 constituencies to be precise drawn entirely drawn from the central and state bureaucracy.

"While the election is being applauded for its efficiency, it was fully conducted by the same bureaucracy that is often criticised for slowness and delayed decision making," the source said.

Helplines were set up at the constituency level, state level and at Delhi headquarters to immediately organise raids and seize cash. This enabled seizures of cash of Rs.313 crore, 2.2 lakh litres of liquor valued at Rs.1,000 crore and 1.85 lakh kg of drugs.

For the first time in the polls, the Commission operated an expenditure monitoring division headed by a senior officer of department.

First Published: Sun, May 18 2014. 12:10 IST