| Governor J.B. Patnaik felicitates a winner of the debate competition organised on National Voters’ Day at Rabindra Bhawan on Friday. Picture by UB Photos |
Jan. 25: Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik today enlightened the young voters of Kamrup district at a programme organised to celebrate the National Voters’ Day 2013 at Rabindra Bhawan.
Patnaik explained to a large number of young voters, along with school students, about the significance of National Voters’ Day as well as the role of the Election Commission.
“We have gathered here today to celebrate the third National Voters’ Day, 2013. On this day, 63 years ago, the Election Commission was constituted as an important institution of our democracy,” Patnaik said.
Patnaik told the young voters why India was called a representative democracy.
“It is because the government is formed by the representatives of the people and representatives are elected on the basis of adult franchise. Every adult person from 18 years of age and above has the right to vote according to his or her own choice. There is no discrimination. Every adult of Indian origin, young or old, rich or poor, man or woman, has been conferred with the right to vote by our Constitution,” Patnaik said.
In order to encourage more young voters to take part in the political process, the Union government has decided to celebrate January 25 every year as National Voters’ Day. The day is being celebrated since 2011.
The governor criticised the middle and the upper classes of society.
“Many people neglect the process to get registered in the electoral rolls. Many those who get registered do not go to the polling station on the appointed day because of sheer apathy and indifference. There are many individuals from the middle and the upper classes of society, who think themselves more enlightened than others and consider it beneath their dignity to stand in long queues to cast their vote,” Patnaik said.
“We find people critical of the government, taking to the streets and shouting slogans, participating in some kind of agitation and demanding for an immediate change of government. However, they do not exercise their voting powers when the opportune time comes,” he said.
Patnaik said it was the responsibility of the Election Commission to prevent rigging. “It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to see that rigging is prevented by all means. I know several instances when voters returned disappointed from the polling booths, as their votes had already been cast by false voters,” he added.
Prizes of several competitions, organised among the students, were also handed over to the winners in the programme.
Subharajit Dey, Nilakshi Baishya and Jyoti Prasad Basumatary bagged the first, second and the third positions, respectively, in the speech competition, and Masum Ahmed, Sujata Buragohain and John Baishya were selected as first, second and third, respectively, in the essay competition.
A few young voters from the Kamrup district were also felicitated on the occasion.