Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore today called upon the youth of the state to enthusiastically take part in the largest democratic process in Punjab by ensuring 100% voting in the upcoming Assembly Elections in the state.
Addressing a massive gathering, especially the youth at the National Voters’ Day celebrations in the Punjabi University Patiala, Badnore said that the youth should participate willingly in electing their government which is going to make policy for their future. Enrolment of 18 to 19 year age group has always been a matter of concern, he said. The youth often ignore the importance of their registration in electoral roll but this time 40% of total voters of this age group have been enrolled which is a remarkable progress compared with earlier 10 to 15% a few years ago. He also said that there was a need to further encourage the future voters to get registered as voters.
In his welcome address, V. K. Singh Chief Electoral Officer Punjab, said that just like a strong foundation is required for a sturdy building similarly for a successful and strong democratic set up youth involvement is must. He also said that as per the theme of ‘Empowering Youth and Future Voters’ on the National Voter Day 2017, as many as 3.43 lakhs of new voters in the age group 18-19 have been registered in our electoral rolls as on January 1, 2017 out of 1.97 crore of total voters. He also said that NVD celebrations are taking place in all district headquarters simultaneously in around 23,000 locations in the State. Each of newly enrolled voter is taking the pledge, receives Photo I-Card along with a booklet for the first time highlighting his or her rights and obligations. Mr. Singh further said that 750 campus ambassadors have also been appointed by the ECI for educating the youth of schools and colleges regarding the value of being a voter. The focus of the ECI was on educating the future voters so that they are motivated and get registered as soon as they become eligible, said Mr. Singh.
He also apprised the gathering about the new initiatives of ECI like introduction of National Voters Service Portal to provide six voter – centric electronic services to voters, National drive to purify and authenticate electoral rolls, Introduction of photographs of candidates on EVM to avoid the confusion of namesake candidates in the minds of voters, New symbol of None of the Above option or NOTA, electronic transmission of postal ballot for service voters are commendable. He also said that the Election Commission has been adopting IT and other technological innovations at fast pace in order to conduct free and fair poll in Punjab.
The Governor also administered the oath to all those present on the occasion to uphold the democratic traditions of our country and the dignity of free, fair and peaceful elections and to vote in every election fearlessly and without being influenced by considerations of religion, race, cast, community, language or any inducement.
The Vice Chancellor, Dr. Jaspal Singh in his address said that India is the only country in the world where Democracy is the strongest pillar of Governance. It has the largest democracy besides being a true form of Unity in Diversity. He also said that the highest polling station is in Leh in India where as the largest Lok Sabha constituency of outer Delhi with 33 lakh of voters is also in India and the smallest constituency with 33000 voters is in Lakshadweep, again in India.
International shooter and Olympian, Mr. Abhinav Bindra, representative of the Youth and state icon of ECI for Punjab Elections appealed the youth to cast their votes on February 4 to strength the values of democracy in the country.
Expressing his gratitude to the ECI for selecting Patiala for the state level function to mark Voters Day, the Deputy Commissioner Mr. Ramveer Singh said that the youth along with the other sections of the society would make its presence felt in the coming elections.
On the occasion, Patiala district was adjudged as the Best District for conducting SVEEP activities. The Best ERO Award was presented to, Jagjit Singh, SDM Balachor, Best Booth Level Officers and students participated in SVEEP activities were also awarded.