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Awareness on Nota for villagers

Margram (Birbhum), April 15: A group of businessmen at Margram in Birbhum has organised an awareness camp for villagers on the newly introduced Nota button on EVMs.

Today, on occasion of Ganesh Puja on Poila Baisakh (the Bengali New Year), the traders organised the awareness programme in Hatibandha More. The traders said they arranged it as most people, including those who would vote for the first time, were not aware of the None Of The Above button.

“We have observed that most villagers are not aware of the Nota button. So we have decided to demonstrate to the villagers when and how it should be used,” said, Dibakar Dutta, a tea and fast-food seller in Margram.

Another trader said that when they read about the Nota button in newspapers, they gradually found out that the idea had not sunk in to the villagers’ minds.

“We discussed this among ourselves and decided to help the villagers,” said, Premashis Karmakar, who own an iron grille manufacturing unit.

The traders organising the programme said that they would continue the awareness programme for three days because a large number of villagers today came to them after hearing about the camp.

“We decided to carry out the awareness programme for three days as several hundred villagers turned up for the demonstration of the Nota button,” said Karmakar.

Margram is a big village with a population of 37,000 and has two gram panchayats.

“We have also written placards about the Nota button as part of the awareness programme. On the model of EVM machine we have made, we are pointing to the last button beside which we have printed in Bengali ‘uporer keu noi’ or none of the above. When the button is pressed a red light glows with a beep on our model. This helped villagers to understand,” said Karmakar.

Shankar Sen, 70, a farmer, today came to the camp and was told in details about the Nota. “I did not know about it earlier. Nobody told me about the Nota button. Now I understand that if I don’t like any of the candidates in my constituency, I can press the Nota button,” Sen said.