With the number of student voters in the city being stronger than ever, city-based NGO Manu Needhi conducted an election awareness rally on the Marina on Sunday.
Former Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta, who flagged off the rally, urged the gathering of IAS aspirants from Smart Leaders IAS Academy to contribute towards a free and fair election.
“In urban areas, the voting percentage has become quite low in recent times. This should change. People should look at the implications it will have not only on them, but on the country as a whole,” he said.
Addressing the gathering, Gupta further pointed out that apart from political parties, the public too had the onus of keeping the elections fair. “We should be clear on our voting agenda and should not be susceptible to greed.”
He further urged political parties to help conduct a clean poll. “Political parties should avoid personal attacks on their opponents. During canvassing, their strategy should focus only on their achievements and not on the shortcomings of others,” said Gupta.
Prior to the rally, the students also took a pledge to help keep the elections fair and to propagate awareness.
The students pledged not to give in to greed, utilise their voting franchise not just as a right, but as a duty and report any discrepancy or malpractice. The rally was flagged off by Naresh Gupta from the Gandhi Statue and students marched with placards that bore election awareness messages.