New Delhi, Jan 25 : The 10th National Voters’ Day (NVD) was celebrated across the country on Saturday and President Ram Nath Kovind presided over the national level event held in New Delhi. President Kovind hailed the varied interventions taken up by the Election Commission for the successful conduct of the 17th Lok Sabha Election in a free, fair and transparent manner.
The President particularly appreciated the initiatives for reaching out to voters in the remotest corner to include their names in the electoral roll and to encourage them to exercise the Right to Vote, resulting in the historic voter turnout of 67.47 per cent. He congratulated the new six voters particularly who were given the Electoral Photo Identity Cards today.
The President also mentioned the Universal Adult Suffrage principle which helped all Indian eligible citizens to vote from the very beginning of the journey of Indian republic. Mr Kovind also took note of the special efforts undertaken by Election Commission to ensure that the gender gap was reduced to less than 0.1 per cent in the last Lok Sabha General Election.
Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, Secretary General Umesh Sinha and Director General Dharmendra Sharma have also attended the function. The theme for NVD 2020 was ‘electoral literacy for stronger democracy’ reiterating the commitment of Election Commission towards electoral literacy for all to ensure maximum participation and informed and ethical voting.
This year marks an important milestone in the history of Indian democracy as Election Commission of India (ECI) completes 70 years of its journey. On this occasion, the President gave away the National Awards for the best electoral practices to officers for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections in different spheres. Two books were launched by Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad and presented to the President. The first book was Belief in the Ballot-II, an anthology of 101 human stories from across the nation about Indian elections.
The second book launched was The Centenarian Voters: Sentinels of Our Democracy. This collection enumerates the stories and experiences of 51 centenarians across India, who braved difficult terrain, poor health and other challenges to come out and vote. Chief Election Commissioners and senior officials from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tunisia were also participated the occasion.
Reputed international organisations working in elections such as A-WEB, IFES and International IDEA were also a part of the occasion. Members of Political Parties, Members of Parliament besides diplomats from various countries and representatives from national and international organizations working in the area of democracy and elections also attended the national function.
The National Voters’ Day (NVD) is celebrated all over the country on January 25 every year since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on this day in the year 1950. (UNI)