Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra on Monday said state election commissions play an effective role in strengthening the faith of common people in democracy and democratic institutions.
Addressing a conference on the 'Role of State Election Commissions in a Strong Democracy' held in Mount Abu, he also stressed the need to ensure the maximum participation of citizens in the election process.
Mishra suggested participants of the conference discuss measures to bring down election expenditure and hoped that state election commissions would share innovations and experiences so that effective work can be done to strengthen democracy up to the panchayat level, according to a statement.
He said democratic institutions are strengthened when there is maximum participation of citizens and this is the basis of free and fair elections.
Mishra said the state election commission is a constitutional body and the Constitution protects the powers of the Election Commission. He said the poll body is working to strengthen democracy by effectively conducting elections in the Panchayati Raj institutions and municipal bodies.
State Election Commissioner Madhukar Gupta said the State Election Commissions need to be given the same powers, independence and autonomy the Election Commission of India enjoys.
In his address, he discussed various aspects, including the impact of technology in the election process, funding in local bodies and panchayat elections, and better utilisation of resources, including EVMs, to reduce the expenditure of the poll process.
State Election Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh Neelam Sawhney said the conference will prove to be important in terms of deliberations on better management of state election commissions.
Election commissioners of various states, secretaries and officers of various states were also present at the conference.