GUWAHATI: The State Election department will soon launch a massive awareness campaign to motivate all eligible voters to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Even though the awareness campaign will be launched throughout the State, the thrust areas will be on villages, towns, districts and constituencies where the overall turnout of voters in the Assembly elections in 2016 was relatively less than the State’s total turnout.
Chief Electoral Officer M.C. Sahu told reporters here on Friday that a survey conducted by his department had found that there were about 1,000 polling stations where the turnout of voters was less than 15 per cent of the State’s total average turnout in the Assembly polls in 2016. Around 3000 polling stations had recorded less than 10 per cent of the State’s total turnout of votes in 2016 elections, he said.
According to Sahu, the survey had found that reluctance among urban voters and lack of awareness was primarily responsible for low turnout of votes in certain areas in 2016. He said the survey report has already been shared with the Election Commission of India.
Sahu said Assam has been effectively implementing the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation Program (SVEEP) to create awareness about the importance of casting votes in a democracy and inspire voters to exercise their franchise on the days of elections. SVEEP, the flagship programme of the Election Commission of India is being executed for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India since 2009. Sahu said the Election Department has selected Green Oscar winner Purnima Devi Barman, Mr World 2018 Golap Rabha, athlete Hima Das, boxer Ankushita Boro, actor Kapil Bora and singer Tarali Sarma as the State Icons to inspire voters to exercise voters in a free, fair and fearless manner.
Sahu also said the polling stations with low female voter turnout will be identified. To encourage their participation, ‘Mahila Voter Rally’ will be executed in those specific pockets, he said. On the other hand, the office of Chief Electoral Officer, Assam in collaboration with the Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM) and Assam State Urban Livelihood Mission (ASULM) has undertaken Aaideur Chora, to sensitize the female voters about SVEEP.
Deputy Secretary of Election department and nodal officer of Aaideur Chora Pankaj Chakraborty told reporters that the ASRLM and ASULM will mobilize the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to make Aaideur Chora a huge success.
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