Strenghthening Loktantra via “Voty” festival
This election season has witnessed a high voter turnout. Assembly elections are being conducted in the states of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Delhi in the month of November and December, 2013. Voting is over in all the states except Delhi where voting will take place tomorrow,i.e., December 4.
One characteristic that has been common to all the states this season has been the pattern of high voting percentage. People of Bastar area of Chattisgarh- under the grip of Maoists- set the ball rolling in this direction. For just 18 assembly seats, Election Commission reserved one full day to facilitate voting under tight security and the voters of Bastar region did not disappoint! They came out in full swing to exercise their voting right, contributing to 67 percentage of the total voting. Rest of the Chattisgarh and then Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan followed the suit and witnessed above 70 % voting.
While many factors can be accounted for enhanced voting, credit must also be given to Election Commission for playing role in creating awareness programs. One of the programs called SVEEP (Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation) was commissioned in all the states during recent times.
Delhi will be going for polls tomorrow (December 4, 2013). I have been camping in Delhi for last 5 months. It is sickening to hear the rants of some political parties making false promises and boasting their past achievements. But as soon as the election campaigning ended yesterday evening (48 hours from the scheduled end of polling), it was refreshing to see voter awareness ads taking over! (after all, FM radios and TV channels and news papers have space now!). Today while I was traveling via Metro train, it was a pleasure to hear via public announcement system at Metro stations, the appeal by Election Commission to people to exercise their voting right! A catchy advt by ADR at one metro station was quite interesting: Accept no money, no liquor, and do cast your vote!
After all, election season is a like a festival for voters and why not spare some time to create more awareness among voters about the importance of voting power! A vote fetches you no money (under ideal conditions), but it is a weapon that you can use to send an elected representative into exile!