Voting is not just a right but a responsibility to build a vibrant democracy: CS

ITANAGAR, 25 Jan: Chief secretary Dharmendra on Wednesday said that “Voting is not just a right but a responsibility of all the eligible voters to exercise their adult franchise for building a strong base for a vibrant democracy.”

Attending the 13th National Voters Day (NVD) celebration at the Banquet Hall here, the chief secretary urged all those who have attained the age of 18 years and above to get enrolled in the voters’ list.

“Earlier 1st January was the only qualifying date for publication of the final electoral roll, but ECI has now notified 1st April, 1st July and 1st October also as qualifying dates in order to improve voter enrollment,” he said.

 The CS said that the voting percentage of Arunachal Pradesh is around 80 percent which is much higher than the national average, but efforts have to be made to ensure that the remaining 20 percent come out and vote.

“Voters’ awareness programmes in the districts and grassroots level with the assistance of BLOs can improve the voting percentage,” he added urging the DEOs to initiate steps in this direction.

Quite impressed with the idea of spreading the message on voting rights, free and fair elections through music, dance and dramas, he congratulated the participants from various schools and colleges for their presentations.

Fisheries principal secretary Sandeep Kumar highlighted the importance of National Voters Day and appealed to the young voters to exercise their voting rights in a free and fair manner.

He also urged them to choose leaders with good vision and ideologies to maintain the true meaning of democracy.

DC-cum-district election officer Sachin Rana spoke about the importance of the day and also presented a brief report on Papum Pare.

During the programme 13 outstanding BLOS from Balijan, Doimukh, Leporiang, Tarasso, Toru, Kimin, Sagalee, Mengio, Itanagar, Banderdewa, Kakoi, Parang, Sangdupota circles were felicitated with certificates and mementos. The prizes to winners of the senior and junior category essay writing and drawing competitions for the school children, which was conducted as a part of the celebrations, were also distributed on the occasion.

The other highlights of the programme were performance by the students of Donyi Polo Mission Hearing and Visually Impaired School, Nehru Yuva Kendra, Itanagar and Zion Institute of Nursing.

The ECI song- “Main Bharat Hoon- Hum Bharat Ke Matdata Hain” produced by ECI in association with Subhash Ghai Foundation was also screened. The song brings forth the power of vote and celebrates the spirit of inclusive, accessible, ethical, participative and festive elections in the largest and most vibrant democracy of the world.

Later, the chief secretary administered the voters’ pledge to all the children present on the occasion.

Senior secretaries of govt. of Arunachal Pradesh  Swapnil Naik,  Pankaj Jha, A Talwade,  Parul Gaur Mittal,  Hage Taring,  SP SIC Anant Mittal,  Papum Pare DC Sachin Rana, chief electoral officer (i/c)  Liken Koyu, Papum Pare SP Nyelam Nega, ADC (HQ)  Tabang Bodung, officers from Nirvachan  Bhavan, HoDs of Papum Pare and school children attended the programme.

The NVD was also celebrated in Balijan ADC headquarters.  ADC Marchina Boria administered the voters day pledge to the gathering.

At Tawang, the NVD was celebrated by felicitating the newly eligible voters at the DC’s office. ZPC Leki Gombu distributed the electoral photo identity cards to them.

Electoral registration officer Rinchin Leta highlighted the importance of NVD

The NVD was also observed at Daporijo in Upper Subansiri district.

At Khonsa in Tirap district, DC Hento Karga, in his address to the students, government officials and election staff, on the occasion of National Voters Day, described India as the largest democracy adding that ‘no effort should be spared to make it the best democracy in the world.’

He urged all those who is and will attain 18 years of age by 2024 to enroll themselves as voters.

“Education was sine qua non to make democracy more vibrant and effective,” he said adding that during the elections the contesting candidates should fight on development issues and not on religion, race, caste, community, language etc.

He appealed to the people to practice transparency in election procedure.

The DC also administered the voters’ pledge and distributed EPIC cards to the newly enrolled voters.

ERO (Hqs) in-charge D K Thungdok and Khonsa government Higher Secondary School principal K C Lowangcha, and a host of others spoke on the occasion.

At Deomali, ADC Vishakha Yadav administered the voters’ pledge and distributed EPIC cards to newly enrolled voters.

At Namsai, DC-cum-DEO C R Khampa urged all the eligible voters to get themselves enrolled. He advised all to be fully literate about the electoral processes.

ADC-cum-Namsai ERO S Mining also spoke.

Similar programmes were held in schools, offices, all the polling stations of three assembly constituencies with the theme ‘Nothing like voting, I vote for sure.’

At Pasighat, East Siang district, DEO Tayi Taggu reminded everyone that the power for choosing a good and genuine leader always lies in the voter’s hand.

E- Epic cards were distributed to the newly enrolled voters of 18-19 years by DEO Tayi Taggu and ADC Tatdo Borang.

At Roing in Lower Dibang Valley district, DC Soumya Saurabh administered the NVD pledge, distributed EPIC to new voters, prizes to the winners to the competition on voters’ day and gave away appreciation certificates to the BLOs on the occasion of NVD.

In his address, Saurabh advised all to encourage youngsters to register themselves as voters on reaching 18 years of age.

At Boleng, the EAC/ERO gave away EPICs to newly enrolled voters and administered NVD pledge to all the participants.

At Ziro, Lower Subansiri district, DEO Bamin Nime appealed to the voters of the district particularly, the youth to avoid taking money during elections in lieu of their votes.

“Trading your precious votes for pecuniary monetary benefits compromises the development of your place,” he said, while appealing the voters to follow and adhere to the crusade against money culture during elections launched by the Apatani Youth Association.

The virtual message of Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEI)  Rajiv Kumar and launching of the song “Main Bharat Hoon” was showcased on the occasion. Nine newly registered voters were handed over their new EPIC cards while six best performing BLO’s of the district were also conferred with certificates as a token of appreciation of their efforts.

The NVD was also celebrated in Leparada and West Kameng districts with launch of song “Mein Bharat Hoon,” distribution of new EPIC card, felicitation of BLOs and pledge taking ceremony. (DIPROs)